Delhi Court’s Bloomberg Takedown: Template for Media Scrutiny for Corporates?

A court has asked the business media giant Bloomberg to take down an article on Zee Entertainment for being incorrect. This follows weeks after SC’s relief to the Adani group, which media had accused of corporate misgovernance.

Updated On
New Update
justice over prejudice

TICE Creative Image

In an embarrassment for international news and business media giant Bloomberg, a Delhi court has asked it to take down an article that suggested Zee Entertainment had a $241 million-sized hole in its accounting numbers. 

The article was published by the news platform on February 21, 2024. It was titled “India Regulator Uncovers $241 Million Accounting Issue at Zee”.

On the back of sources, the Bloomberg article had claimed that India’s market regulator Securities and Exchanges Board of India (SEBI) had reportedly found more than $241 million missing from the Zee Entertainment accounts. The article also said SEBI had allegedly found no proper transaction history shown for the amount.

Zee Entertainment had filed a defamation case against Bloomberg and its journalists Anto Antony, Preeti Singh and Saikat Das.

An additional district judge, Justice Harjyot Bhalla of the South Saket Courts, gave this order and asked Bloomberg to take down the article within a week from Friday, March 1

“In my view, the plaintiff has made out a prima facie case for passing ad interim ex-parte orders of injunction, balance of convenience is also in favour of plaintiff and against the defendant and irreparable loss and injury may be caused to the plaintiff, if the injunction as prayed for is not granted. In view thereof, defendant no.1 and defendant no.2 are directed to take down the article dated 21.02.2024 (page 84 to 86 of the plaintiff’s document) from online platform within one week of receipt of this order. The defendants are further restrained from posting, circulating or publishing the aforesaid article in respect of the plaintiff on any online or offline platform till the next date of hearing"

The order was passed ex-parte, which means it was made in the absence of one party (in this case, Bloomberg).


Bloomberg has been earlier as well been caught on the wrong foot by others on whom it has done stories. In the recent past, the publisher which has a firm foothold in the business media space, not spared even giants like Ambani and Adani. In the context of the short selling attack on Adani by Hindenburg, Bloomberg’s opinion pages used several writers to raise question on the corporate giant’s credibility. 

In a piece published on Sept 21, 2023, a regular columnist suggested that despite opposition criticism the Indian government continued to ‘maintain ties with the Adani” and raised a question about the group’s “grip on (Indian) banks” while insinuating not the it was not fully in control of the market. 

Ambani Adani


In another opinion piece, as recent as February 26, 2024, suggests that ‘billionaires are taking over the news media” in India, with specific mention of the Ambanis’ ownership of the national news outlet Network18 and the recent buyout by the Adani group of legacy brand NDTV. While the obvious irony of Bloomberg itself being owned by a US billionaire was left unsaid. 

The order by the judge points perhaps to a bigger malaise: a biased, white, Western view of the world which is used to see India. There have been countless numbers of Western-centric criticism of India, be it US or British media. This has increased with the rise of Indian presence of the world stage, especially economically — which is without doubt driven by private enterprise making its presence felt in markets that the West thought was their preserve. 

Overall, the honourable court’s judgment today will also lay out a template for corporate entities which have come under unfair and incorrect media scrutiny to seek legal recourse.