Hindenburg report on Adani: Supreme Court refuses to gag media

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The Supreme Court on Friday turned down a plea seeking directions to restrain the media from reporting on the Adani-Hindenburg issue till it finally decided it, terming the demand as unreasonable.

“We are not going to issue any injunction ever against the media,” CJI DY Chandrachud told advocate ML Sharma after he pressed for his plea seeking to stop the media from reporting on the Hindenburg Research report that accused the Adani Group of manipulations and malpractices to inflate its stock prices.

The Adani Group has denied the allegations.

Sharma, whose PIL seeking a probe against the Hindenburg Research was pending before the top court, told the Bench during mentioning of urgent matters that the media was doing sensational reporting on the issue.

“Make a reasonable argument…not for injunction against the media,” the CJI told Sharma.

The Bench has already reserved its orders on setting up an expert committee to examine the regulatory mechanism to protect investors in the wake of the Hindenburg Research report that resulted in sudden crash of the Adani Group shares.

The Supreme Court had on February 17 refused to accept names of experts submitted to it by the Centre in a sealed cover for a panel to be set up to suggest remedial measures to safeguard investors’ interests in the wake of the Hindenburg Research report that led to the crash of the Adani Group shares.

“We will select the experts and maintain full transparency. If we take names from the government, it would amount to a government-constituted committee. There has to be full (public) confidence in the committee,” the Bench had said.

“We would rather not accept the sealed cover suggestions. We want to ensure transparency. In case we take your suggestions from a sealed cover, it automatically means the other party won’t know,” it had said.

“If we accept suggestions, we should disclose it to the other side so that there is transparency,” it had noted.

Reserving its order on the petitions seeking probe into the Hindenburg-Adani report, the Bench had said it can’t start with the presumption of a regulatory failure.

Maintaining that it will not take suggestions from either government or the petitioners on the composition of the expert committee, the top court had said it would select experts on its own.

However, the Bench had made it clear that it would not appoint a sitting judge on the panel to examine the issue.

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