Why cant govt set up JPC on Adani issue, asks Congress

Why can't govt set up JPC on Adani issue, asks Congress

The Congress on Thursday said a thorough investigation into the Adani issue is necessary, holding that any committee other than a JPC will be nothing but an “exercise in legitimisation and exoneration”.

Congress general secretary Jairam Ramesh said the proposal before the Supreme Court for setting up of a committee by the government can hardly ensure transparency. “A Supreme Court bench on February 13, while hearing petitions on the Adani-Hindenburg matter, discussed the setting up of a panel of experts to examine the regulatory regime post the allegations made by the US-based short-seller,” he said in a statement.

Ramesh said it had directed the government to give its submissions in this regard by February 17. “Where the allegations are of close, intertwined proximity between the ruling dispensation, the government of India and the Adani Group, the setting up of a committee with terms of reference proposed by the government can hardly carry any insignia or reassurance of independence or transparency,” he said.

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“It is an exercise initiated by the two principal actors — the government and the Adani Group –to cover up, avoid, evade and bury all genuine scrutiny. It is becoming clear that the proposed committee is part of a carefully orchestrated exercise by these vested interests to prevent any real investigation into the Adani Group’s relationship with the ruling regime,” the Congress leader alleged.

“If the prime minister and his government are to be held accountable, any committee other than a JPC will be nothing but an exercise in legitimisation and exoneration,” he claimed.

Ramesh said given the nature of the allegations, it is imperative that the “link” between Adani and the ruling regime is examined in the full light of day by elected officials accountable to the public.

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“An evaluation of the regulatory and statutory regime by experts is in no manner equivalent to an investigation by a JPC. Such a committee, however, competently staffed, cannot be a substitute for a thorough investigation into the political-corporate nexus that has come to light in the last two weeks. It simply does not have the authority, resources, or jurisdiction to examine the issues that the Opposition has raised,” he said asserting that a JPC probe on Adani issue is necessary.

He claimed several JPCs have been constituted in the past to inquire into matters of public importance such as irregularities in securities and banking transactions as well as the stock-market scam of 2001. These reports have been crucial to prosecutions that have followed and have provided the bedrock for legislative changes to prevent similar manipulative practices, he claimed.

The Congress has been demanding a JPC probe into the allegations against the Adani Group by US-based short-seller Hindenburg Research. The Adani Group has dismissed the allegations as baseless.

(With inputs from agencies)

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