BBC cannot hide economic offences under garb of freedom of expression: BJP

The BJP said on Wednesday the BBC or any other organisation cannot hide their "economic offences" under the garb of freedom of expression

Press Trust of India New Delhi

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The BJP said on Wednesday the BBC or any other organisation cannot hide their "economic offences" under the garb of freedom of expression.

The British broadcaster is under the Income-Tax department probe for alleged tax avoidance by underreporting income and these are serious offences, BJP's information technology department head Amit Malviya said.

The BBC has to abide by Indian laws to operate in the country, he said.

The BJP reaction came following the British government's strong defence of the BBC and its editorial freedom in Parliament after the Income Tax department's survey operations on the media corporation's New Delhi and Mumbai offices last week.

The BBC has said it is fully cooperating with the investigation and hopes to have the situation resolved as soon as possible.

Malviya claimed that the international broadcaster has a chequered past and accused it of trying to meddle in the internal affairs of democracies, including India.

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He said that it once showed Russian tanks in Chechnya as Indian tanks in Kashmir to "suit its propaganda".

Malviya said India is the "mother of democracy" and has a strong judicial system to ensure freedom of expression.

The I-T department had said in a statement following the survey that the income and profits disclosed by the organisation's units were "not commensurate with the scale of operations in India".

A Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) junior minister responded to an urgent question raised in the House of Commons in London on Tuesday to say that the government cannot comment on the allegations made by the I-T department over an ongoing investigation but stressed that media freedom and freedom of speech are essential elements of robust democracies.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

Topics : BJP BBC

First Published: Feb 22 2023 | 10:00 PM IST

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