Case filed by ED against BBC for irregularities in foreign funds

Enforcement Directorate takes action against BBC India

A case has been registered against the British Broadcaster BBC India by the Enforcement Directorate weeks after a thorough investigation of the company’s Delhi premises. The case was filed under Foreign Management Act (FEMA) for irregularities in foreign funding.

The channel had come under scanner after several searches were initiated by Income Tax officials in Delhi and Mumbai. As per the official sources diversion of funds, and violations of the Foreign Exchange Management Act, 1999 (FEMA) were found during Income Tax searches. One of the charges levelled against BBC is that the company showed profits from the group’s various entities did not match with their scale of operations in India.

The broadcaster came under the scrutiny of Indian authorities after it aired a contentious documentary titled ‘India: The Modi Question,’ which drew harsh criticism from the Indian government and tarnished the country’s image. Summons were sent to Broadcaster after a survey of its premises by the Income Tax Department requesting an investigation into the matter. The Enforcement Directorate is now questioning the BBC’s administrative and editorial department officer at its headquarters.

The government earlier had instructed social media platforms to block YouTube videos and Twitter handles of individuals and organizations posting links to documentary after the controversy started.

The Indian government had criticized the BBC documentary questioning the role of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the 2002 Gujarat riots after which BBC faced tough questions from prominent people of Indian civil society and the public at large. From time to time the Indian government has accused BBC of spreading fake news and propaganda through its network in India as part of destabilizing the country.