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May 24, 2024

21 International Organizations Urge CJI for Swift Resolution of Adani Coal Imports Case

At least 21 prominent international organizations have joined forces to petition Chief Justice DY Chandrachud of the Supreme Court, urging expedited resolution of a lingering case concerning Adani Group firms. The case, filed by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence, probes alleged overvaluation of Indonesian coal imports by the conglomerate.

The collective appeal from these organizations follows a damning report published by the London-based Financial Times. Drawing from documents sourced by the George Soros-backed Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), the report hinted at potential fraudulent activities by the Adani Group. It suggested that in 2013, the conglomerate may have misrepresented low-grade coal as high-value fuel, impacting transactions with Tamil Nadu’s Tangedco.

Emphasizing their staunch opposition to the continued reliance on fossil fuels, the international organizations underscored the significance of the Financial Times’ findings. They viewed the report as providing fresh and detailed evidence of the alleged practice of passing off inferior coal as a cleaner and pricier alternative.

Among the signatories of the letter to Chief Justice Chandrachud are notable entities such as the Australian Centre for International Justice, Banktrack, Transparency International Australia, and the Queensland Conservation Council, among others. Their unified call for action underscores the gravity of the situation.

Despite vehement denials from the Adani Group regarding all allegations, the report has triggered significant reactions. Opposition leaders, including former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi, have rallied behind demands for a joint parliamentary committee probe into the alleged malfeasance.

In response to the allegations, a spokesperson for the Adani Group reiterated their commitment to quality assurance. The spokesperson highlighted an extensive quality check process involving independent testing at various stages, including loading and discharge points, as well as scrutiny by customs authorities and officials from Tamil Nadu Generation and Distribution Company (Tangedco).

The Adani Group further contended that payments were contingent upon the quality of coal supplied, determined through rigorous testing protocols. They asserted that tests conducted on the consignment in question yielded results well within permissible limits, challenging the accusations of substandard coal supply.

Addressing specific claims in the report, the conglomerate clarified that the vessel cited for transporting the coal in December 2013 had not been utilized for shipping coal from Indonesia until February 2014. This clarification aims to dispel any doubts regarding the timeline and logistics surrounding the alleged transactions.

The affidavit submitted by the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence to the Supreme Court reaffirmed their intent to resume investigations into the Adani Group concerning the alleged overvaluation of coal imports. The probe, initiated in March 2016, focuses on scrutinizing Adani Group companies for suspected irregularities in coal imports from Indonesia spanning from 2011 to 2015.

The collective appeal from international organizations, coupled with the ongoing legal scrutiny, underscores the gravity of the allegations against the Adani Group. As the case progresses, stakeholders eagerly await the Supreme Court’s deliberations, anticipating a resolution that upholds principles of transparency and accountability in business practices.

Jhumpa Lahiri

Jhumpa Lahiri

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