Income Tax ‘survey’ at BBC offices ends on third day, after over 58 hours | Latest News India

    The ‘survey’ of the income tax department at BBC office premises concluded on Thursday after over 58 hours. I-T officials left the Mumbai and the Delhi offices after the marathon survey which drew criticism. During the three-day survey, the officials prepared an inventory of financial data from some staff and collected paper and digital data. The survey came soon after it aired a documentary on Gujarat riots India: The Modi Question, which criticised the role of Narendra Modi, then chief minister of Gujarat. The ‘survey’ has triggered a major political row with all political parties condemning it and calling it the government’s attempt to silence media.

    ‘Not in a position…’: US on I-T surveys at BBC offices in Delhi, Mumbai

    During the three-day survey, the income tax officials stayed put at the offices, sleeping there, Reuters reported. Some employees were questioned about BBC’s financial transactions till late at night, the agency claimed. The laptops and the phones were handed back to the owners after officials asked for passcodes and ran checks.

    The agency staff were to stay off all social media platforms in an internal memo sent by Liliane Landor, director of BBC World Service. It said the organisation would contact staff again with more details once the survey was finished.

    The income tax department has not yet issued any statement regarding the surprise survey, though government advisor (information and broadcasting ministry) said BBC was served tax notices in past but they never provided “convincing response”.

    The employees were also asked to not delete any data from their devices during the survey. The employees were allowed to go home on Wednesday for rest before they joined the investigation on Thursday again.

    The survey, as reported, is in the view of BBC’s “deliberate non-compliance” with the Transfer Pricing Rules and “vast diversion of profits”.

    (With agency inputs)

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