Friday, December 1, 2023

BBC India now being probed for Forex violations

The BBC in India has been asked to provide financial statements in a new probe linked to alleged foreign exchange violations.

The BBC’s foreign remittances are being scrutinized by the Enforcement Directorate, sources said today.

The Enforcement Directorate has registered a case against BBC India under the Foreign Exchange Management Act (FEMA).

The probe agency has asked the BBC to furnish its books of accounts and financial statements.

This comes months after the Income Tax department investigated the BBC and sent its teams to the BBC offices in Delhi and Mumbai over allegations of irregularities in taxes, diversion of profits and non-compliance.

During the survey, senior BBC staff had to stay in office overnight to respond to questions.

The searches came weeks after the British public broadcaster aired a documentary that was critical of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s leadership of Gujarat during the 2002 sectarian riots. The BBC’s two-part series titled “India: The Modi Question”, examined allegations that PM Modi, as Chief Minister of Gujarat, didn’t do enough to stop the 2002 riots – allegations that were dismissed by the Supreme Court. The government used emergency powers to take down posts sharing the documentary in January.

Foreign Minister S Jaishankar, in an interview, said the timing of the BBC documentary is “not accidental” and denounced the narrative in the foreign media.

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