India

Income Tax department fines NDTV Rs.525 crore for false transactions

16 Aug 2016 | Written by Sneha Johny; Edited by Gaurav

India's IT Department fined media and journalism giant New Delhi Television (NDTV) with a penalty amount of Rs.525 crore for tax evasion.

The department slapped the fine on NDTV for not declaring incomes amounting to over Rs.642 crore.

It was found that the earnings were gained through false-transactions that NDTV had initiated in 2008.

The court hearing for the same was on 16th Aug.

In context: NDTV's tryst with GoI

16 Aug 2016Income Tax department fines NDTV Rs.525 crore for false transactions

ClaimsNDTV claims they 'sold a dream'

When the Income Tax department raised allegations of NDTV's tax evasion, the company retaliated back stating that they had 'sold a dream'.

The evasive answer was provided to the IT department, with claims that the revenue generated were from share transfers and dividends from a firm based out of a tax haven.

After IT served the notice, reports said NDTV had not responded yet.

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Sham transaction uncovered

"No details have been filed whatsoever for the so-called business projections and the basis of compulsion of the sale price of the share at Rs. 7015 which is 159 times of its face value of Rs. 45," the IT Department's notice said.
IT Department traces NDTV's false transactions

02 Aug 2016IT Department traces NDTV's false transactions

The IT Department's 14-page notice that was sent to NDTV traced the earnings of over $150 million to NBC Universal and Universal Studios.

The money was channelled through NDTV's shell company, NDTV Networks PLC.

This was said to be done to avoid paying taxes, according to the IT Department.

The false transaction was brought to light when NDTV did not report them in 2010.

IT department's notice outlines tax evasion

"It is pertinent to note that all agreements, whether pertaining to alleged subscription of stake by USBV in NNIH or alleged buyback by NDTV Networks BV, are invariably signed by NDTV itself." - IT Department

Financial distressNDTV's financial troubles

The media giant, launched as a 24/7 channel 15 years ago, from the Prime Minister's residence, has now dimmed to a conglomerate that is vying for journalistic grasp amidst financial distress for the company.

The company sunk into financial troubles when it raised a lot of debt, especially around 2008 when the market had crashed.

NDTV is also facing a Rs.2030 crore FEMA notice.

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03 Nov 2016NDTV India to go off-air over Pathankot coverage

In the first instance of a broadcaster being brought to book for coverage of terror attacks, the Information and Broadcast Ministry may ask NDTV India to go off-air for a day over their coverage of the Pathankot attack.

The channel revealed details of ammunition stockpiles and air-force squadrons at Pathankot air base.

Officials said the content was violative of programming norms.

04 Nov 2016Editors Guild decries NDTV ban

The Editors Guild of India criticized the government's decision to take NDTV India off the air for one day over their coverage of the Pathankot attacks.

Lambasting the move, they said it "amounts to harsh censorship imposed by the government reminiscent of the Emergency."

They clarified that "its coverage was sober and did not carry any information that was not in the public domain."

05 Nov 2016NDTV ban not dictatorial; UPA gave 21 such orders: Modi-Government

Modi-government justified the penalty doled out for the "huge indiscretion and violation of rules" saying instead of a 30-day ban only 1-day ban had been handed out to NDTV.

Furthermore, the government said, "21 such orders had been issued by the UPA governments since 2005".

However, Delhi CM Kejriwal asked all media channels to "go off the air for a day to support NDTV".

06 Nov 2016News channel in Assam ordered to shut for 24 hours

News Time Assam, a television news channel based in Assam was ordered by the Union Government to go off air for one day.

The channel is accused of revealing the identity of a minor who went through torture, of airing gory visuals and content deemed derogatory towards women.

NDTV India has been similarly punished for covering the Pathankot attacks live, thereby compromising national security.

07 Nov 2016NDTV moves SC over ban order

NDTV has moved the Supreme Court over the government's recent one-day ban imposed on the channel.

NDTV has written to the SC, challenging the constitutional validity of the order and "the provisions of law pursuant to which the said order has purportedly been passed."

Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha MP and Essel Group Chairman Subhash Chandra Goel has called for a lifetime ban on the channel.

08 Nov 2016Center holds NDTV ban

The Centre has decided to review its decision of imposing a one-day ban on NDTV, after receiving criticism from several quarters.

The decision was put up for review by the inter-ministerial committee after representatives of NDTV and its owner Prannoy Roy met Information and Broadcast Minister M Venkaiah Naidu.

The ban which was to be imposed on 9 November, will now be deferred.

09 Nov 2016I&B ministry to restructure inter-ministerial panel

Sources said that the Information and Broadcast Ministry has decided to restructure the inter-ministerial panel that oversees violations in broadcast media.

The IMC is headed by the I&B additional secretary and includes members from eight ministries -defence, home, consumer affairs, law, health, external affairs and women and child development.

Sources say the ministry is looking to increase the strength of the committee.


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