Desh Duniya Samachar

In an affidavit submitted to the Supreme Court on October 10, the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI) has reiterated its commitment to resume the investigation into the Adani Group for the alleged overvaluation of coal imports. The DRI stated that it has followed due process by applying to a Mumbai court for a Letter Rogatory to obtain documents related to the case in Singapore. A Letter Rogatory is a formal request for judicial assistance in investigations involving foreign entities.

On the same day, the Supreme Court consolidated this matter with another case involving the alleged smuggling of duty-free gold by a jeweler based in Hyderabad. The DRI had initially approached the Supreme Court in November 2019 against a Bombay High Court order favoring the Adani Group. Despite five hearings over four years, the case has not reached the stage of final arguments.

The DRI’s latest affidavit asserts that it is the Adani Group, not the agency, approaching the Supreme Court with “unclean hands.” The DRI highlighted its pursuit of a Letter Rogatory, emphasizing that it was a necessary step due to non-cooperation from Adani Group companies and banks in providing transaction-related information. The investigation, according to the DRI, is fully compliant with permissions obtained from the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Home Affairs.

The DRI is investigating around 40 companies, including six Adani companies, for the alleged overvaluation of coal imports from Indonesia totaling Rs 29,000 crore between 2011 and 2015. The Adani Group has consistently denied any wrongdoing. The investigation assumes significance as findings could impact compensation received by the Adani Group from distribution companies in various states. The alleged overvaluation of coal could inflate production costs, affecting power tariff calculations by regulatory commissions and leading to increased electricity costs for consumers.

The DRI’s case against the Adani Group has faced legal challenges, including the quashing of Letter Rogatories by the Bombay High Court in September 2018. The Supreme Court stayed this order in January 2020 and has since had multiple hearings on the matter.

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