I-T Survey at the Delhi and Mumbai BBC Offices With Regard To Suspected Tax Evasion

Since this morning, February 14, at 11:20 a.m., representatives of the Income Tax department have been conducting “surveys” at the news organization British Broadcasting Corporation’s Mumbai and New Delhi, and Mumbai offices.


The British broadcaster BBC‘s offices in Delhi and Mumbai are being surveyed by the Income Tax (I-T) Department as part of a tax evasion inquiry. A team of at least 60 to 70 cops are reportedly working on the survey, according to reports.

According to reports cited by the news agency PTI, the I-T department is reviewing records pertaining to the broadcaster’s corporate activities and those pertaining to its Indian branch. According to sources, the IT department personnel are looking into the documents and speaking with the BBC marketing staff.

However, it has been discovered that the survey officers’ phones have been turned off and that access to the BBC headquarters is limited. According to reports, the I-T division also confiscated the BBC officials’ cell phones.

The BBC’s business sites are the only ones the Income Tax department is inspecting as part of the study; neither its promoter’s nor directors’ homes nor other houses are being searched.

Notably, the Opposition leaders came out in support of BBC shortly after the reports of the I-T department surveys were made public and accused the Centre of the move in light of the current controversy over the BBC docu series on Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Sources claim that a notification was sent to BBC at one point, and the broadcaster’s financial division then responded. The team conducting the investigation at the BBC headquarters in Delhi consists of over two dozen IT officers.

According to reports, the IT staff is scanning the company’s records, finances, and connected equipment.

On Twitter, the BBC stated that it is working with authorities and that it wants “this matter handled as quickly as possible.”

This official move against the British channel has drawn criticism from opposition parties. These “surveys,” according to a tweet from Congress, represent an “undeclared emergency.”

Mahua Moitra, a member of the Trinamool Congress, also tweeted about the decision, mockingly remarking that Gautam Adani will still receive preferential treatment from the government.

Jairam Ramesh, the leader of the Congress, also questioned why the government was concentrating on BBC but ignoring the claims against Adani.

Sitaram Yechury, the head of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), questioned how India can call itself the “mother of democracy” in light of the actions of the administration.

While the poll was being conducted, BJP national spokesman Gaurav Bhatia addressed to the media and referred to the BBC as the “Bhrasht Bhakwaas Corporation (corrupt, garbage corporation)”. Bhatia stated, “Income Tax Department must be let to carry out its duties,” and added, “If BBC did no wrong, then why are [they] terrified.”

Bhatia further made it clear that the current documentary is in fact related to the I-T department’s conduct. Bhatia allegedly engaged in anti-Indian propaganda, according to the media. India is a nation that offers opportunities to all organisations—as long as they don’t spew hate speech.

He criticised Congress for doubting the poll as well. The former prime minister Indira Gandhi had banned the BBC, he remarked, and the party “should remember that.”

The Editors Guild of India said in a statement that this behaviour “continues a practice of utilising government agencies to intimidate and harass news organisations that are critical of government policies or the governing elite.” The statement continues, “This is a trend that threatens constitutional democracy.”


The event occurs two weeks before the G-20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting, which will take place in Delhi on March 1 and 2.

According to Reporters Without Borders, India’s press freedom rankings have dropped to 150 out of 180, placing it among the 30 least free nations in the world.

A New York Times editorial from yesterday discussed how India’s free press is becoming more and more endangered. In order to cover what the government doesn’t want them to, journalists have endangered their careers and even their lives more frequently since Mr. Modi assumed power in 2014, it was underlined.

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