Article on Adani Group: SC extends protection from arrest to 4 journalists summoned by Gujarat Police

The Supreme Court on Friday extended the interim protection from arrest it had granted to four journalists against whom the Gujarat Police had issued summonses in connection with an article published on the Adani Group.

A bench of Justices Justice Hrishikesh Roy and Justice Sanjay Karol asked the Gujarat government to file its response on their pleas within a week.

The top court was hearing the pleas filed by Ravi Nair, Anand Mangnale, Benjamin Nicholas Brooke Parkin and Chloe Nina Cornish against the summonses.

Nair and Mangnale have challenged the summonses issued by the Ahmedabad crime branch asking them to appear for questioning with respect to the preliminary enquiry (PE) into their article published on the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP) website.

Nair and Mangnale received notices from the crime branch in October directing them to appear in person in connection with the PE launched on the complaint by an investor Yogeshbhai Mafatlal Bhansali.

The other pleas have been filed by Parkin and Cornish, who were summoned by the Gujarat Police for a preliminary enquiry on a complaint filed by an investor in the Adani group companies over an article published by the Financial Times titled ‘Secret Paper Trail Reveals Hidden Adani Investors’. The duo had contended in the top court that they did not write the report in question.

Adani Group stocks had taken a beating on the bourses after Hindenburg Research made a litany of allegations, including those about fraudulent transactions and share-price manipulation, against the business conglomerate.

The Adani Group has dismissed the charges as lies, saying it complies with all laws and disclosure requirements.

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