The Supreme Court on Friday dismissed a petition seeking to gag the media from reporting on the allegations of stock manipulation by the Adani Group, Live Law reported.
The petition was mentioned by advocate ML Sharma before Chief Justice DY Chandrachud
“We are not going to issue any injunction to the media ever,” Justice Chandrachud remarked, adding that the court will pronounce orders in the case shortly.
The ports-to-energy conglomerate led by billionaire Gautam Adani has been steeped in a crisis since January 24, when United States-based investment firm Hindenburg Research alleged that the group has amassed substantial debt by pledging overvalued shares.
Since the report was released, the Adani Group has lost over $136 billion(over Rs 11.26 lakh crore) in market capitalisation.
The Supreme Court is hearing two petitions filed by Sharma and another advocate Vishal Tiwari.
While Sharma had sought directions to the Securities and Exchange Board of India and the Union home ministry to conduct an investigation and register a first information report against Hindenburg Research founder Nathan Anderson as well as his associates in India, Tiwari has sought the formation of a committee under a retired Supreme Court judge to investigate the report.
At previous hearings, the Union government had said it had no objections to forming a panel to protect investors, but had insisted on suggesting the names of members of the committee.
On February 17, the government had submitted the names in a sealed cover, which the Supreme Court had refused to accept.
The court had also reserved its order on the matter of appointing the committee.
The US-based short-seller published a report on January 24, named ‘Adani Group: How The World’s 3rd Richest Man Is Pulling The Largest Con In Corporate History’, which led to the downfall of Adani Group stocks. Gautam Adani-led group’s market capitalisation has tumbled to Rs 7.15 lakh crore at the time of writing this report, as compared to Rs 19.18 lakh crore on January 24, with the loss totalling Rs 12.02 lakh crore.
Hindenburg accused the Adani family of stock manipulation and money laundering and said that its 7 key listed companies have an 85% downside purely on a fundamental basis owing to sky-high valuation. Some of the stocks, such as Adani Green Energy, Adani Total Gas and Adani Transmission have plunged over 70% while the flagship Adani Enterprises shares have lost over 60%. Adani Power has crashed by 46% and Adani Ports, Adani Wilmar, ACC and Ambuja Cements have fallen over 25%. On Friday, the group’s four stocks, Adani Power, Adani Transmission, Adani Green Energy and Adani Total Gas were locked in the lower circuit, falling 5% while Adani Enterprises shares fell 7.68% to Rs 1277.40.