The Supreme Court today refused to gag the media from reporting on the Adani-Hindenburg issue, saying there was “no question” of doing so.
“No, there is no question of passing any injunction on the media...No gag on the media,” Chief Justice DY Chandrachud as saying. “We will pass our order. We will do what we have to do.”
The Chief Justice was responding to a request from advocate ML Sharma, who had earlier this month asking for a gag on media reports on listed companies, including those belonging to the Adani Group, unless the reports were “first verified” by SEBI.
The apex court had previously reserved its order on the formation of an expert committee to strengthen regulatory measures. On February 17, the court had turned down the central government’s sealed cover containing candidate suggestions for the committee. The bench had said it wanted to maintain “full transparency”.
On January 25, Hindenburg Research had published a report alleging that the Adani Group had pulled the “largest con in corporate history” by engaging in “brazen stock manipulation and accounting fraud” over two decades. The report was the result of two years of investigation.
The share prices of the companies of the Adani Group, which called the report “maliciously motivated”, have since the report was published.
Soon after, social media exploded in a pro-Adani campaign to undo the damage that had been done. This sprawling campaign, propped up by the right-wing ecosystem and BJP supporters, used disinformation, misleading narratives and hyper-nationalism to get the job done. .