The Income Tax department on Friday raided the premises of news-media organisations Newsclick and Newslaundry in South Delhi. The IT deptt said the operations are being conducted to verify certain tax payment details and remittances made by the organisations, as quoted by PTI.
“There is a search and seizure order, so the phones of all persons present in the office have been seized, making it difficult to get any information,” The Wire quoted a Newsclick employee as saying.
According to the report, the phones of all Newsclick employees who were in office had been turned off, and those working from home were not able to establish contact with their colleagues.
The Wire also quoted a Newslaundry employee as saying, “Around six to seven persons from the income tax department landed at the office around 12 noon. So far the raid is only at one office of Newslaundry.”
Newsclick and its founders were also raided by the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in February under provisions of the anti-money laundering law. The money laundering case arises out of a Delhi Police FIR alleging that PPK Newsclick Studio Pvt Ltd received foreign direct investment (FDI) of Rs 9.59 crore from Worldwide Media Holdings LLC USA during the financial year 2018-19. Earlier in July, the Income Tax department had raided the offices of Dainik Bhaskar and BHarat Samachar. Several media outlets had then condemned the IT raid , dubbing it an attempt to silence critical voices in journalism.