I-T dept searches premises of me­dia baron Raghav Bahl

Millennium Post - - Front Page -

NEW DELHI: The In­come Tax Depart­ment searched me­dia baron Raghav Bahl’s home and of­fice on Thurs­day in con­nec­tion with a case of al­leged tax eva­sion, of­fi­cials said.

A team of I-T sleuths raided The Quint founder’s premises in Noida early morn­ing and are look­ing for doc­u­ments and other ev­i­dence re­lated to a case of “bo­gus long-term cap­i­tal gains (LTCG) re­ceived by var­i­ous ben­e­fi­cia­ries”, they said.

Apart from Bahl, three other “ben­e­fi­cia­ries” and pro­fes­sion­als, J Lal­wani, Anoop Jain and Ab­hi­manyu, are be­ing searched as part of the same ac­tion.

Their busi­ness links to off­shore en­ti­ties are be­ing in­ves­ti­gated, the of­fi­cials said.

Bahl, who was in Mum­bai at the time, shared his “great con­cern” with the Ed­i­tors Guild and said dozens of IT of­fi­cials de­scended on his res­i­dence and The Quint’s of­fice for a sur­vey”.

“We are a fully tax com­pli­ant en­tity and will pro­vide all ac­cess to all ap­pro­pri­ate fi­nan­cial doc­u­ments. How­ever, I have just spo­ken to the of­fi­cer on my premises, and re­quested him, strongly, to not try and pick up or see any other mail/doc­u­ment which is likely to con­tain very se­ri­ous/sen­si­tive jour­nal­is­tic ma­te­rial.”

They should also not mis­use their smart­phones to take unau­tho­rised copies of the ma­te­rial, he said.

If they do that, he will seek

“ex­tremely strong re­course”, Bahl said in the state­ment posted on his of­fi­cial Twit­ter han­dle.

“I do hope the EG will back us on this, and thereby set a prece­dent for any such ex­er­cise that may hap­pen on any other jour­nal­is­tic en­tity in the fu­ture,” he said.

In an­other state­ment to the me­dia, he said he was on his way to Delhi, and his wife and mother were con­fined to the res­i­dence and not al­lowed to speak to any­body.

LTCG is broadly de­fined as the tax paid on profit gen­er­ated by an as­set such as real es­tate, shares or share­ori­ented prod­ucts held for a par­tic­u­lar time-frame.

Bahl is the founder of The Quint news portal and the Net­work18 group and a known me­dia en­tre­pre­neur.

Raghav Bahl

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