ED registers FEMA case against BBC India for ‘FDI violations’

This is after BBC’s offices in Delhi and Mumbai were ‘surveyed’ by the IT department in February.

WrittenBy:NL Team
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The Enforcement Directorate in India has registered a case against the BBC under the Foreign Exchange Management Act, PTI reported today

The central agency will investigate alleged “foreign direct investment violations” and has asked for “documents and the recording of statements of some company executives”. A source told the Indian Express, “Today, they have called another employee of BBC along with some documents and questioning is still going on.”

In February, the Income Tax department had conducted a three-day “survey” at the British broadcaster’s offices in Delhi and Mumbai. The department allegedly cloned digital data from devices in the accounts section and switched off employees’ phones. 

A government note shared with journalists at the time alleged the BBC had carried out “deliberate non-compliance with the Transfer Pricing Rules and...vast diversion of profits”. It said the key focus of the “surveys” was to investigate “manipulation of prices for unauthorised benefits, including tax advantages”.

In response, a representative of the UK government said, “We stand up for the BBC. We fund the BBC. We think the BBC World Service is vital. We want the BBC to have that editorial freedom.”

Importantly, the surveys took place soon after the BBC released a documentary in January on prime minister Narendra Modi that focused on the role he allegedly played in the 2002 Gujarat riots. The Indian government banned it and called it “propaganda”. The government also cracked down on universities that attempted to hold screenings of the documentary on their premises. Check out Newslaundry’s coverage of it here.


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