Prominent Indian TV channel targeted for alleged loan default07 Jun, 2017
The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) expresses serious concern over the raids at office of NDTV channel and residences of its promoters in New Delhi and Dehradun, India on June 5. The IFJ urges the concerned authorities to ensure that the investigations into the assets of media and media promoters do not amount to harassment.
The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) raided the residences of Prannoy Roy, the executive chairperson of NDTV, in New Delhi and Dehradun on June 5 in connection with allegations of Roy and NDTV causing losses to a private bank by defaulting loans. The CBI said it had registered a case and raided four places belonging to Roy and his wife Radhika Roy. The couple founded the TV network in 1988.
NDTV is also under the investigation by the Income Tax department and the Enforcement Directorate for defaulting taxes and violating foreign exchange regulations.
The TV channel, in a statement, denied the allegations and called the raids motivated. The statement said: “It is shocking that the CBI conducted searches on the NDTV offices and residence of the promoters without even conducting a preliminary enquiry. This is a blatant political attack on the freedom of the press… The search by the CBI is only a witch-hunt against independent media.”
“We adhere to the highest levels of integrity and independence. It is clearly the independence and fearlessness of NDTV’s team that the ruling party’s politicians cannot stomach and the CBI raid is merely another attempt at silencing the media,” the NDTV statement added vowing to fight for freedom and the independence of media in India.
The Delhi Union of Journalists (DUJ) has also expressed serious concern over the raid.
The IFJ said: “The IFJ is concerned by the raids in the residences of NDTV Executive Chairman Prannoy Roy as the raids seems to be have been conducted to harass the media. No media should be harassed for their content or political stance. The IFJ urges the Indian government to ensure that proper procedures are followed in the investigations of cases against media without unnecessarily harassing and shaming the media and related people.”