This morning, several teams of the Income tax department (ITD) raided the house of Raghav Bahl, who is one of the co-founders of media house, The Quint. The raids were carried out for allegedly evading taxes on undisclosed income. The Quint offices were also raided this morning. As per the reports, ITD is conducting raids at premises of some other people also, as part of an action to prove tax evasion by a set of business professional.
The Quint, editor-in-chief, Ritu Kapoor who is also the wife of Raghav Bahl, is yet to make any comments on the raids. Meanwhile, Bahl has issued a statement as his reaction to the entire incident.
“I have a matter of great concern to share with the Guild. While I was in Mumbai this morning, dozens of IT officials descended on my residence and The Quint’s office for a ‘survey’. We are a fully tax complaint entity, and will provide all access to all appropriate finance documents. However, I have just spoken to the officer on my premises, on Mr Yadav, 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. If they do that, then we shall seek extremely strong recourse. 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. They should also not misuse their smart phones to take unauthorized copies of this material. I am now on my way back to Delhi,” Read Bahl’s statement.
Raghav Bahl is also former managing director of Network18— which operates, through its subsidiaries, channels such as CNBC TV18, CNN-IBN, IBN7, CNBC Awaaz and Colors. After his stint with Network 18, Bahl has founded new company, Quintillion Media Pvt.
Raghav Bahl was also associated with CNBC, Viacom, BBC, Star TV, A&E, Time Warner and Forbes. He also worked as a Management Consultant at AF Ferguson followed by a stint at Amex.
Notably, Bahl’s exit form Network 18 shocked the media industry. In early 2012 Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries had bought debentures in Network18’s promoter group firms, convertible into shares at any time within 10 years of putting in the cash into Network18. However, Reliance exercised the option barely two and a half years later, which led to Raghav Bahl leaving the company.
At Quintillion, Raghav Bahl’s wife Ritu Kapoor is the managing director and is the editor-in-chief of thequint.com.
(With inputs from DNA)