Income Tax Survey at BBC Offices in Delhi & Mumbai
The Income Tax Department conducted a survey operation at the BBC’s offices in Delhi and Mumbai as part of an investigation into alleged tax evasion.
Earlier ISH News had released a video about the BBC’s two-part documentary named India: The Modi Question on PM Modi. The Indian government was strongly opposed to this documentary. The Union government had blocked the documentary on YouTube and Twitter. The external affairs ministry had called it “propagandist agenda,” to which the BBC said the documentary “was rigorously researched according to highest editorial standards.” Now in a surprise move the Income Tax Department on 14th February 2023 from 11:20 am. It went on for 10 hours. The IT department said it conducted a survey operation at the BBC’s offices in Delhi and Mumbai as part of an investigation into alleged tax evasion. Now there is a difference between an Income Tax Survey and Income Tax Search.
The Income Tax Surveys are done throughout business hours, whereas searches are not limited in any way.
In simple words, the surveys are a gentler version of search operations. However, the main objective of the surveys is to gather information. During the survey, the I-T department is looking at documents related to the business. 60 to 70 members arrived at the BBC offices and conducted the search operations. The phones of all employees have been switched off and those who are not at the office have been asked to work from home. Moreover, entry and exit have also been prohibited. Those at the office are not allowed to speak to anyone outside during the survey, and the offices will remain sealed while the officials are there. The staffer said they had been unable to reach anyone since morning. As the raids are underway, documents were seized and phones and laptops of journalists were taken away.Employees working in the afternoon shift at the BBC’s Delhi office were asked to work from home, while those present in the office were asked to leave early.
Opposition parties have criticised this state action against the British channel. BJP Says No One Above Law.
The United States of America on Tuesday said it is aware of the survey operation conducted by the Indian tax authorities at the BBC office in Delhi but is not in a position to offer its judgement. The government has said that the Income Tax Dept conducts surveys from time to time where irregularities are found, & when survey is completed, they give information. When this survey of IT will be completed, we’ll give you all that information in detail.