All Disclosures Made in Tax Returns, Says Media Baron Raghav Bahl on Govt Show-Cause Notice

On Monday, media reports alleged that government agencies were probing funds used by Bahl to purchase a property outside the country.

New Delhi: Indian government authorities have sent a show-cause notice to media baron Raghav Bahl, seeking information with regard to the funds that were used by the senior journalist to purchase a property outside of the country.

In a statement put out on Monday evening, Bahl, the founder of the Quint news portal and the Network18 group, refuted all claims of financial misconduct and indicated that any funds invested in the property were from income on which taxes were “duly paid” and “duly, undisputedly and consistently disclosed” to authorities.

Earlier in the day, television channel BTVI reported that the Enforcement Directorate (ED) had also begun a probe into Bahl’s foreign property and had sought details of a complaint filed by the income tax (I-T) department under Section 50 of the Black Money (Undisclosed Foreign Income and Assets) and Imposition of Tax Act, 2015.

The Wire could not independently verify the channel’s claims.

The I-T department’s action comes approximately nine months after it conducted a raid or ‘survey’ of the offices and premises of businesses associated with the media baron.

This included a search of the offices of news website Newsminute, The Quint, Youth Ki Awaaz and Bahl’s personal residence in Noida.

In his statement, Bahl calls BTVI’s story “mischievous and misleading” and says that the only proceedings he is aware of are related to a show-cause notice dated May 1, 2019, which was “duly replied to on May 2, 2019”.

“All the funds invested in the property are from income on which taxes have been duly paid, and have been duly, undisputedly and consistently disclosed in the Foreign Asset Schedule of the Income Tax Returns of Mr. Raghav Bahl and his wife and children. The entire funds invested in that property have been remitted through the banking channel under the scheme approved by the Reserve Bank of India and all taxes have been duly paid. All the information and documents with regard to the concerned property are on the records of the concerned Authority,” the statement said.

“Therefore, in our mind, the above-stated facts and records available with authorities foreclose any speculation with regard to any investigations and/or actions initiated by the Authority against Mr. Raghav Bahl. It is stated that Mr. Raghav Bahl, as a responsible and law-abiding citizen of India, has always duly disclosed all foreign assets and/or investments in his Income Tax Returns.”