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Supreme Court Sets Up Expert Panel to Probe Hindenburg-Adani Row:Congress Demands JPC

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Supreme Court Sets Up Expert Panel to Probe Hindenburg-Adani Row:Congress Demands JPC
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The Supreme Court of India has set up an expert panel to investigate the Hindenburg-Adani controversy, after declining the government’s suggestion to have it probed by a panel of experts. The panel, headed by Justice Abhay Manohar Sapre, comprises experts on public sector banking, corporate governance, securities law, and financial sector regulations and competition law. The panel has been asked to submit its report within two months. The Supreme Court has also directed SEBI to continue its investigation and submit its report to the Sapre panel within the same time frame. This article examines the controversy and the panel members in detail.

The principal opposition party, Congress, has demanded a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) investigation into the matter, but other opposition parties have not supported this demand. In the past four decades, many JPCs have been set up, but they did not produce reports that could fathom all issues involved. Harold Laski, a British political theorist and economist, had noted that MPs tend to be divided on party lines and had thus advocated that a judicial probe may be better. In Britain, JPCs were discontinued a century ago.

The composition of the Supreme Court-appointed panel is interesting. Somasekhar Sundaresan, a business journalist-turned-lawyer, whose nomination as a High Court judge was turned down by the government, brings expertise in securities law, financial sector regulations, and competition law. OP Bhatt, a former State Bank of India chairman, brings expertise on public sector financial institutions. Another eminent banker, K.V. Kamath, former chairman of ICICI Bank, brings expertise in banking, finance, and corporate governance. Another corporate honcho with an impeccable record, Nandan Nilekani, the co-founder and chairman of Infosys Technologies, brings expertise in corporate governance and digital commerce. Retired judge of the Bombay High Court Justice J.P. Devadhar has vast experience in judging matters related to the stock exchange.

The presiding judge of the probe, Justice Sapre, was part of the nine-judge bench of the Supreme Court that upheld citizen’s Right to Privacy in a historic judgment in the Puttaswamy case. A former chief justice of the Guwahati and Manipur High Courts, he was entrusted by the Supreme Court to safeguard the interest of investors in real estate firm Unitech last year. His pro-investor track record adds sheen to the panel.

Congress has not been satisfied with the Supreme Court’s decision to set up an expert panel, and the party has demanded a JPC investigation. However, other opposition parties have not supported this demand. JD(U), Congress’s Bihar ally, refused to be drawn into the JPC demand, stating that parliament usually does not discuss matters under judicial scrutiny.

The Sapre panel has been asked to suggest measures to investigate the Hindenburg-Adani imbroglio and suggest measures to retain the sanctity of and strengthen the statutory framework. The panel members have been chosen for their expertise in public sector banking, corporate governance, securities law, financial sector regulations, and competition law, as well as their experience in judging matters related to the stock exchange and safeguarding investors’ interests.

The controversy surrounding the Hindenburg-Adani deal has caused concern among investors and regulators. The expert panel’s report is expected to provide clarity on the matter and suggest measures to strengthen the regulatory framework. The two-month time frame set by the Supreme Court for the panel to submit its report is expected to be adhered to, and the interest of investors and the health of the stock market will be nursed back after the pitfalls are identified.

The Hindenburg-Adani controversy is not the first controversy in India’s stock market. In the past, many controversies have rocked the stock market, and regulatory authorities have

Bengaluru

Karnataka Deputy CM alleges BJP plotting Governor’s rule.

Shivakumar vehemently refuted the BJP’s claims, asserting that Karnataka boasts one of the most robust law and order mechanisms in the country.

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Karnataka Deputy CM alleges BJP plotting Governor’s rule.
Deputy Chief Minister DK Shivakumar | PTI Photo

In a recent statement, Karnataka‘s Deputy Chief Minister D K Shivakumar has raised concerns over the BJP’s alleged secretive agenda to impose Governor’s rule in the state amidst heightened tensions regarding the law and order situation.

The backdrop to this accusation stems from the BJP’s criticism of the deteriorating law and order scenario in Karnataka following the tragic murder of Neha Hiremath, the daughter of a city civic body councillor, on the premises of her college in Hubballi. The incident has triggered widespread outrage and protests across the state.

Shivakumar vehemently refuted the BJP’s claims, asserting that Karnataka boasts one of the most robust law and order mechanisms in the country. He accused BJP leader R Ashoka of clandestinely plotting to enforce Governor’s rule as part of a political strategy to undermine the current administration.

The tragic incident involved the stabbing death of Neha Hiremath, a 23-year-old Master of Computer Applications (MCA) student and the daughter of Congress Councillor Niranjan Hiremath. The alleged perpetrator, Fayaz Khondunaik, was apprehended by the police following his escape from the crime scene.

The incident has escalated into a political showdown between the ruling Congress and the opposition BJP. While the Congress attempts to portray the incident as a personal tragedy, the BJP has framed it within the context of ‘love jihad,’ further exacerbating the political tensions.

Protests, led by BJP’s student wing Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad (ABVP) and other Hindutva-aligned organizations, have erupted across the state, demanding justice and stringent punishment for the accused. This has added fuel to the political fire, with both parties capitalizing on the tragedy to further their respective agendas.

As the situation unfolds, the political landscape in Karnataka remains tense, with accusations and counter-accusations dominating the discourse. The fate of the state’s governance hangs in the balance amidst growing concerns over law and order and the specter of Governor’s rule looms large, intensifying the political turmoil.

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Bengaluru

Bengaluru Firm: Rs 1,500 ‘Forest Bathing’ at Cubbon Park – Viral Post

Debate erupts as Trove Experiences offers Rs 1,500 forest bathing in Cubbon Park. Is commercializing Shinrin Yoku ethical? Explore the controversy.

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Bengaluru Firm: Rs 1,500 'Forest Bathing' at Cubbon Park - Viral Post
(Image:troveexperiences.com)

In Bengaluru, Trove Experiences’ decision to monetize Shinrin Yoku, a revered Japanese practice, has stirred controversy. The offering of guided forest bathing experiences for Rs 1,500 has triggered outcry and ridicule, igniting a fierce debate over the commercialization of a sacred ritual.

Research highlights the benefits of communing with nature, emphasizing its capacity to alleviate anxiety, depression, and uplift mood and self-esteem. Shinrin Yoku, the Japanese art of forest bathing, has long served as an escape from urban chaos, offering a slow, deliberate stroll through wooded areas to soothe modern malaise and restore well-being.

However, criticism has mounted with the introduction of paid guided forest bathing experiences, a novelty in Bengaluru. Trove Experiences’ initiative has sparked a firestorm of debate with its Rs 1,500 forest bathing excursions, conducted not in a forest but at Cubbon Park, where strolling has always been free.

On Trove Experiences’ website, the description of their offering underscores the need for city dwellers to reconnect with nature amidst the stress of urban life. The immersive forest walk promises to leave participants feeling centered and revitalized.

Yet, screenshots of Trove Experiences’ pricing have circulated widely, provoking outrage and mockery. Social media users have derided the notion of paying for a forest bathing experience in a park where grass-touching remains free. The viral post on X has garnered significant attention, with thousands of likes and comments reflecting widespread skepticism and humor.

The controversy surrounding Trove Experiences’ commercialization of Shinrin Yoku underscores broader questions about the ethical boundaries of monetizing sacred practices and the commodification of nature’s healing benefits. As debates continue, the clash between commercial interests and cultural reverence remains unresolved, leaving many to ponder the true essence of Shinrin Yoku amidst the uproar.

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Bengaluru

Tejasvi Surya Faces Backlash at Bengaluru Campaign Event

Tejasvi Surya faces criticism at Bengaluru campaign event as investors demand answers on Guru Raghavendra Co-operative Bank scam.

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Tejasvi Surya Faces Backlash at Bengaluru Campaign Event
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Bengaluru South MP Tejasvi Surya encountered a turbulent situation during a recent election campaign event in the city. The event, held at the Laxmanrao Imandar auditorium, took an unexpected turn when investors who had suffered losses in the multi-crore scam involving the Guru Raghavendra Sahakara Bank Niyamitha demanded accountability from the parliamentarian.

The investors, visibly frustrated by the delay in compensation for their losses, sought answers from Surya and other leaders present, including Basavanagudi BJP legislator L A Ravi Subramanya. Despite attempts by the leaders to assuage their concerns, the investors remained dissatisfied with the responses provided.

Footage from the event circulated on social media platforms, capturing the moment when Surya was escorted out of the venue by his security personnel. During his exit, he engaged in heated exchanges with some of the investors who approached him with their grievances.

The incident drew attention from various political quarters, with Karnataka Congress seizing the opportunity to criticize Surya’s handling of the situation. The party took to Twitter to highlight the MP’s departure from the event, characterizing it as an escape through an “emergency exit door.”

In response, Surya’s office released a statement accusing Congress workers of disrupting the meeting and attempting to derail the BJP’s campaign efforts. The statement condemned the alleged tactics employed by Congress workers, including pushing and shoving attendees, and emphasized the BJP’s commitment to a positive and development-oriented campaign.

The controversy surrounding the campaign event underscores the ongoing fallout from the Guru Raghavendra Co-operative Bank scam, which came to light in 2020. Despite efforts by regulatory authorities and the Deposit Insurance and Credit Guarantee Corporation to mitigate the impact on depositors, many individuals remain uncompensated for their losses.

The Enforcement Directorate’s investigation into the scam revealed instances of fund misappropriation and financial irregularities, leading to the attachment of the bank’s properties worth Rs 159 crore. With over 15,000 depositors yet to receive full compensation, the Karnataka government’s decision to hand over the probe to the CBI reflects the seriousness of the situation.

As the election campaign in Bengaluru South unfolds, the incident involving Tejasvi Surya serves as a reminder of the challenges faced by politicians in addressing the grievances of affected constituents amidst ongoing controversies and political scrutiny.

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