February 17, 2023
DHAKA – Indian income tax authorities wrapped up their three-day-long “survey” at BBC’s offices in Delhi and Mumbai last night.
They collected digital and print documents and prepared an inventory of financial data from some select staffers, said tax department sources.
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The survey operation that started around 11:30am on Tuesday lasted for nearly 60 hours.
Earlier, the tax officials examined mobile phones and laptops used by some BBC editorial and administrative employees, reported Reuters.
Tax officials had remained at the BBC’s offices, some sleeping there, since the surprise inspection was launched, according to witnesses.
Others said some employees were questioned on financial transactions late into the night.
The action by the income tax authorities came soon after the BBC aired a documentary on the 2002 riots in Gujarat when Narendra Modi was the state’s chief minister.
The income tax survey has kicked off a political standoff between the opposition parties which denounced it as an “attempt” to intimidate the media and the ruling BJP hit back at the BBC accusing it of being “anti-India”.
Tax officials said the survey was carried out following the BBC’s “deliberate non-compliance” with the transfer pricing rules and “diversion of profits” despite repeated reminders.