The tax department raided BBC offices in Delhi and Mumbai on Tuesday morning. The BBC's offices are located on Kasturba Gandhi Marg in Delhi and Santacruz in Mumbai. The searches come amid the uproar over a documentary about Prime Minister Modi.According to the TV reports, the mobile phones of the employees have been seized, and many of them have been asked to go home
After a massive furor over the documentary in the country, the Indian government condemned the BBC Panorama programme, which has not been screened in India, as a propaganda piece with a questionable agenda behind it. Last month, the BBC defended its controversial series as a “rigorously researched” documentary that sought to highlight important issues.
Last Friday, the Supreme Court dismissed a petition seeking a blanket ban on the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) in India, calling the petition “completely misconceived.
Amit Shah's comment on BBC documentary to ANI
Earlier in the morning, Amit Shah had given an interview to news agency, ANI, in which he was asked if there is a conspiracy in the wake of the Hindenburg report and BBC documentary, saying, "Thousands of conspiracies cannot harm the truth. The truth shines bright like the sun. They have been doing it since 2002 against PM Narendra Modi. And every time, he has emerged stronger, truthfully and by gaining more popularity among people every time."
Earlier the Supreme Court of India dismissed the petition filed by the Hindu Sena to ban the film
While dismissing the writ petition filed by Hindu Sena President's writ, Justice Khanna stated that it is entirely misconceived and without merit. Gupta claimed in his petition that the BBC is biased against India and the Union government, and that the documentary on Prime Minister Narendra Modi is the result of a deep conspiracy against the country's and Modi's global rise.
"The documentary film by the BBC relating to Gujarat violence in 2002 implicating Prime Minister Narendra Modi is not only reflective of anti-Narendra Modi propaganda broadcast to tarnish his image alone, but this is anti-Hinduism propaganda by the BBC to destroy the social fabric of India," the plea had alleged.
The Income Tax Department on Tuesday conducted a survey operation at the BBC's offices in Delhi and Mumbai as part of a tax evasion investigation, officials said, reports PTI.
The surprise action comes weeks after the broadcaster aired a two-part documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots and India.
The department is looking at documents related to the business operations of the company and those related to its Indian arm, they said.
As part of a survey, the Income Tax Department only covers the business premises of a company and does not raid residences and other locations of its promoters or directors.