According to the BBC, journalists were stopped during the income tax survey.
A broadcaster claims writers were forced to surrender their phones and that laptops were combed.
The BBC has refuted the income-tax department‘s assertion that the “operation was conducted in a manner to facilitate continued regular media/channel activity” by claiming that journalists were not permitted to work for a number of hours during the three-day tax survey at the broadcaster’s offices in Delhi and Mumbai.
The tax authorities and police officers “misbehaved with several media,” according to BBC Hindi on Saturday. A day after the IT department released a statement regarding the survey, the broadcaster said that journalists had their laptops checked, their phones confiscated, and their reporting methods interrogated.
Journalists at the Delhi office were stopped from writing on the study, according to BBC Hindi.
Hindi and English-language journalists were reportedly prohibited from working for a while, even after work was permitted to continue in response to many appeals from senior editors, it claimed. The report stated that when it was almost time for transmission, journalists in these two languages were still permitted to work.
About 11.30 am on Tuesday, the income-tax division began a “survey” at the worldwide broadcaster’s offices in Delhi and Mumbai. It lasted until roughly 10 pm on Thursday.
The study was conducted a few weeks after the Narendra Modi administration used emergency powers to prevent a BBC documentary that was critical of Modi from being shared on social media in the nation. The BBC exclusively broadcast India: The Modi Question in the UK.
The tax department’s first public statement regarding the searches was released on Friday. It did not mention the BBC but stated that a survey was conducted at the offices of a well-known international media outlet.
According to the tax department’s statement, “It is vital to clarify that statements of only those employees were recorded whose involvement was crucial, including those associated to, in particular, finance, content development, and other production-related duties.”
“Even though the department took reasonable precautions to only record statements from key employees, it was noted that dilatory methods were used, especially in the context of supplying the documents/agreements sought,” the report stated. Despite the group’s position, the survey operation was carried out in a way that would support ongoing regular media/channel participation. The tax department’s statement was vague; it didn’t specify the assessment year the survey related to or specify the size of the alleged tax infringement.