Fri, 08 Dec 2023

Mumbai (Maharashtra) [India], January 31 (ANI): Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly and Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar on Tuesday questioned the central government's silence on an US-based firm's allegations of financial irregularities against the Adani Group.

At a press conference today, Pawar hit out at the Centre for not issuing any statement on Hindenburg Research's allegations of stock manipulation, money laundering and improper use of tax havens by the Adani Group.

"Why does not any senior official speak on this matter?" Pawar asked.

"Central government should intervene and make a statement to make people aware of the truth. There are allegations by a foreign agency about one of our industry leaders. The Centre should clarify its stand on the issue," the Maharashtra leader said.

The Maharashtra LoP also reacted to the Centre's decision to block BBC documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi from being viewed in India. "This is a democracy and we respect it," Pawar said.

"If BBC or any news channel makes any news or documentary, then it should be seen that the documentary is not against the law or against the country, if it is does not disrupt the law and order situation then it should be shown," the NCP leader said.

Pawar said that "if it is against the country, then the police should think about the release of the documentary or video. They should also look into the law and order situation so that it does not deteriorate."On Monday, Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra, senior journalist N Ram, and advocate Prashant Bhushan approached the Supreme Court seeking direction to restrain the central government from censoring the BBC documentary.

The petition sought direction to quash all orders which directly and indirectly block online access to BBC's documentary "India: The Modi Question". The petitioners further sought restoration of their tweets sharing the links of the documentary, which were taken down by Twitter following Centre's orders.

The right to freedom of speech and expression guaranteed to citizens by Article 19(1)(a) of the Constitution also includes the "right to receive and disseminate information", the plea stated. Even if the contents of the documentary and its viewership/discussion thereupon are unpalatable to the powers that be, it is no ground to curtail the freedom of speech and expression of the petitioners, the plea added.

Senior advocate CU Singh mentioned the matter before Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud on Monday for urgent hearing and the court agreed to list the matter.

"What does the government gain by the ban on documentaries like that of the BBC? It only creates unnecessary curiosity," argued the Opposition party leaders during an all-party meet at the parliament on Monday, before the start of the budget session. (ANI)

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