In the 30th instalment of the series, 'Hum Adani Ke Hai Kaun' (HAHK), the Congress party asked three questions to prime minister (PM) Narendra Modi about the rapid growth in stock market-capitalisation of the Adani group, a 2012 charge-sheet filed by the serious fraud investigation office (SFIO) for allegedly manipulating shares of Adani Exports and close links between Elara Capital, whose funds are suspected of fronting for Vinod Adani, and Ketan Parekh.
Here are the three questions asked by Congress to PM…
(1) The stock market-capitalisation of the Adani Group soared by 1,000% in three years, from Rs2 lakh crore (2019) to more than Rs20 lakh crore (2022), before crashing in 2023. This is a very rapid growth rate for any large conglomerate and it is no coincidence that this surge strongly resembled a previous stock market scam in which the Adani group was also involved.
As we pointed out in the 13 February 2023 HAHK, a 2007 SEBI ruling following an investigation into excessive volatility in the shares of Adani Exports (now known as Adani Enterprises) between 1999 and 2001 had found that entities associated with the notorious stock manipulator Ketan Parekh had indulged in “manipulative activities such as synchronised trading/circular trading and creation of artificial volume to influence the price in the scrip of Adani'' and that the “promoters of Adani Group aided and abetted” these manipulations. Given this track record, how did the entire range of regulators and investigative agencies fail to investigate such obviously unnatural share price volatility? What has been the reputational damage to India of such blatant fraud by your favourite business group and your seeming complicity in this?
(2) The serious fraud investigation office (SFIO) of the ministry of corporate affairs had filed a charge-sheet in 2012 accusing the Adani group and Ketan Parekh of making fraudulent gains of Rs388.11 crore and Rs151.40 crore, respectively, by manipulating shares of Adani Exports. It had also lodged cases of cheating and criminal conspiracy against Gautam and Rajesh Adani. A Mumbai sessions court upheld the SFIO investigation on 27 November 2019 stating that it had 'prima facie' established that the accused had made an 'unlawful gain' via stock manipulation. The SFIO then went into a slumber and woke up a month after the Hindenburg revelations, prompting the Bombay High Court to ask on 22 February 2023 whether the SFIO had sought a hearing because of the 'scenario outside'! Did you put any pressure on the SFIO not to pursue its investigation of cheating and criminal conspiracy against your cronies? What happened to your proud boast of “na khaoonga na khane doonga”?
(3) In the 15 March 2023 HAHK, we had highlighted the close links between Elara Capital, whose funds are suspected of fronting for Vinod Adani, and Ketan Parekh. A close relative of Ketan Parekh’s has previously worked with Elara Capital. The firm is also known to have had a relationship with the chartered accountant Dharmesh Doshi, a Ketan Parekh associate who absconded from India in 2002. Given these multiple links between Ketan Parekh and the Adanis, how did your favourite business group manage to get away with the same scam for a second time, this time on a global scale?
Read about previous questions here…