The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) has denied providing the Securities and Exchange Board of India (SEBI) certain 'key documents'. SEBI had asked the organisation for these documents for its investigation into the Adani-Hindenburg case, as it is finding it difficult to gather information regarding the same, according to a report by ET.
The documents in question are the same ones that OCCRP had cited in its investigative report on Adani Group.
OCCRP is a team of investigative reporters which gets its funding and aid from United States Department of State and George Soros.
Sebi's action comes before the case's impending Supreme Court hearing. The regulator contacted OCCRP following the publication of a report by the investigative journalism group on August 31, which claimed that the Adani conglomerate used platforms located in Mauritius to channel money to international investors for its own stock.
"Sebi did contact OCCRP seeking key documents from our investigation. However, our long-standing policy is not to provide any documents beyond what we publish ourselves," OCCRP said via a statement.
OCCRP further noted that some of the records are accessible to attorney Prashant Bhushan, who is representing one of the petitioners in the Adani-Hindenburg dispute. The report further stated that the organization had seen that Bhushan had tweeted a crucial document on September 1st, which disclosed that Sebi had received a warning regarding purported stock manipulation in 2014 from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI).
In January 2014, Adani was accused of embezzling money by overvaluing power equipment imports and investing them in listed firms through entities in Dubai and Mauritius, according to a DRI notice addressed to then Sebi chairman UK Sinha.
In its response to the Supreme Court, Sebi emphasized the difficulties in determining the economic interest of shareholders in Adani firms situated in tax havens who are connected to certain foreign portfolio investors. The regulatory body is currently collecting information from five foreign jurisdictions.
The Adani Group has continuously refuted the accusations, claiming that foreign organizations and short sellers are behind a smear campaign against them. The group emphasized that the courts had nullified the DRI's show-cause notices.