The Income Tax Department Thursday rejected allegations that its officials “suggested changes” in news stories while they conducted raids at multiple offices of the Dainik Bhaskar media group on charges of tax evasion.
The department in a series of three tweets said that its teams only looked into financial documents during the searches.
“Certain allegations have appeared in some sections of media that IT Dept officials were suggesting changes in stories & taking editorial decisions during their search on offices of a certain publication.
“These allegations are absolutely false & are categorically denied by IT Dept,” the I-T Department tweeted.
In keeping with the department’s protocol, it said, the investigation team “only looked into the financial transactions of the group related to tax evasion”.
Certain allegations have appeared in some sections of media that ITDept officials were suggesting changes in stories &taking editorial decisions during their search on offices of a certain publication.These allegations are absolutely false &are categorically denied by ITDept(1/3)
— Income Tax India (@IncomeTaxIndia) July 22, 2021
The tweets by the tax department also referred to the comments made in this context by one of the national editors of the group to some television news channels.
“Shri Om Gaur is based in Lucknow as per his interview to media. It is emphasised that Lucknow office of the publication was not searched by the Income Tax team.”
“Sh Om Gaur was not even questioned. The allegations being made have no basis & in fact seem to be highly motivated,” the department said.
The I-T Department conducted raids across several states against the Dainik Bhaskar group as well as another UP-based TV channel – Bharat Samachar – for alleged tax evasion, drawing a sharp response from several quarters, including an uproar in the Rajya Sabha.
The raids against the Dainik Bhaskar group, which has a presence in 12 states and runs newspapers as well as operates radio stations, web portals and mobile phone applications, began Thursday morning in 30 locations, including in Bhopal, Indore, Jaipur, Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Noida, sources said.
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