BBC says “fully cooperating” with Income Tax ‘survey’ at its Delhi, Mumbai offices

14 February, 2023 | Pragati Singh

BBC National

At the BBC News office on Linking Road in Bandra West, there is no IT activity.

BBC News, the British public broadcaster, has stated that it is working with the Income Tax authorities, which is conducting a survey at its offices in New Delhi and Mumbai. “The Income Tax Authorities are currently at the BBC offices in New Delhi and Mumbai and we are fully cooperating,” the BBC News Press Team said in a statement. The British broadcaster added, “We hope to have this situation resolved as soon as possible.”

According to insiders, IT personnel in the BBC’s financial department were validating some account paperwork. Income tax officers arrived at the BBC premises on KG Marg in the national capital earlier this morning for the survey. The British broadcaster’s office in Kalina Santacruz, Mumbai, was also surveyed, according to sources, who added that the assessment was confined to BBC corporate premises exclusively.

A team of IT professionals came to the BBC Studios headquarters in Kalina Santacruz at 11.30 a.m. today, according to sources, and a survey has been ongoing since then. At the BBC News office on Linking Road in Bandra West, there is no IT activity. It has been learned that tax inspectors are verifying some account records in the finance section of the BBC headquarters.

The Income Tax team confiscated the cell phones of all personnel present at the BBC headquarters throughout the inquiry. The computer data stored in the accounting and finance department was also scanned. According to insiders, the gadgets would be restored to their owners when a backup is made.

The searches came only weeks after the BBC aired a documentary about Prime Minister Narendra Modi called “India: The Modi Question,” which sparked outrage. On January 21, the Centre gave instructions to remove various YouTube videos and Twitter postings that shared links to the contentious BBC documentary on Prime Minister Modi. On February 3, the Supreme Court ordered the central government to submit original papers pertaining to its decision to prohibit the BBC programme.