Income Tax Department concludes survey at BBC offices in Delhi, Mumbai

The IT department was specifically looking into the “manipulation of prices for unauthorised benefits, including tax advantages”

Updated - February 16, 2023 11:00 pm IST

Published - February 16, 2023 10:14 am IST - New Delhi

Members of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) stand guard outside a building housing BBC offices, where Income Tax officials conducted a search on February 15, 2023

Members of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) stand guard outside a building housing BBC offices, where Income Tax officials conducted a search on February 15, 2023 | Photo Credit: Reuters

The Income Tax department's 'survey' at the BBC offices in Delhi and Mumbai concluded after three days on Thursday. 

The agency had initiated the operation on Tuesday, following which the computers and financial records at the BBC offices were examined on the allegation of a “deliberate non-compliance with Indian laws including transfer pricing rules and diversion of profits illegally”. The IT department was specifically looking into the “manipulation of prices for unauthorised benefits, including tax advantages”, it said.

Also Read | Aware of BBC raid, cannot offer any judgement: U.S.

As the survey continued for a second consecutive day, the BBC on Wednesday asked its employees in India to cooperate with the IT Department and not to delete any data from their electronic devices.

The IT department’s move came weeks after the release of a controversial two-part documentary titled India: the Modi Question, pertaining to the 2002 Gujarat riots and the situation of minorities in India. The documentary was blocked by the government on social media platforms.

Also Read | Brazen intimidation: On the tax survey on the BBC

While the ruling BJP has accused the BBC of indulging in propaganda, the Opposition and several journalists’ organisations have criticised the survey. On Tuesday, the Editors Guild of India (EGI) released a statement alleging that the move was in continuation of a trend of “using government agencies to intimidate and harass press organisations that are critical of government policies or the ruling establishment”.

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