British Foreign Secretary discusses BBC tax investigation with Jaishankar

British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly, who is in India for the G20 finance ministers’ meeting, raised the issue of recent income tax raids at BBC offices in New Delhi and Mumbai when he met his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar on Wednesday. He was told “strongly” that Indian laws and regulations must be complied with, sources said.

“The UK Foreign Secretary today raised the BBC tax issue with Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar. He was strongly told that all companies operating in India must fully comply with relevant laws and regulations,” said a source following the matter business line.

Income tax officials conducted a three-day search of the BBC’s offices in Mumbai and Delhi starting February 14, after which the tax department said it had found several inconsistencies and inconsistencies related to transfer pricing documentation.

The raid came just weeks after the BBC aired its two-part documentary on the Gujarat riots, which criticized Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who was Gujarat’s prime minister during the 2002 riots, for his handling of the violence.

The following week the British government defended the BBC, stressing that it criticized the British government and the opposition Labor party and had complete freedom of action. “This freedom is key and we want to be able to communicate its importance to our friends around the world, including the government in India,” said David Rutley, parliamentary under-secretary of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

Jaishankar said in a media interaction last week that the BBC documentary was “politics by other means”. He had previously called it a propaganda piece aimed at advancing a specific narrative. British Foreign Secretary discusses BBC tax investigation with Jaishankar

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