The Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) upheld a tax demand of Rs 450 crore on New Delhi Television (NDTV). This happened on the 14th of July. With this the dues that the company would have to pay have gone in excess of Rs 900 crores including fines.
The tax demand was first slapped in NDTV in 2008 related to an investment of Rs 654 crorein NDTV networks. It is said that the network took a very roundabout route for the investment that saw money being routed through Bermuda and a shell company registered in Netherlands.
This is the second time that NDTV has lost an appeal in the tax tribunal with the first one being rejected in December 2013. The tainted media network has had a very tough time as its TRP ratings have also slipped drastically in the last few years owing to biased reporting.
What needs to be asked is why no media house has picked up this serious matter? There has been silence across the media spectrum with regards to this matter. This massive development has gone by literally unnoticed by the common man of the country as it hasn’t gotten due attention in the media space.
India is a nation that has suffered from endemic corruption for decades which has been the prime reason why India hasn’t been to realize its economic potential. Although with the coming of the Narendra Modi government, corruption at the highest level has almost finished. But even still, corruption at the state-level and government offices exists.
In such a nation where the prime enemy is corruption, it comes as a huge disappointment that the media has largely ignored such a massive case of tax fraud.
Also, the media popularly calls itself one of the pillars of Indian democracy. Isn’t an entity that refers to itself as such responsible for speaking against anything and everything that has harmed the interests of the nation?
Given these massive tax demands on NDTV, how can it enjoy even an iota of credibility anymore? Any person or entity can pass judgments or raise questions on the functioning of others only when it itself is morally clean. Can Arvind Kejriwal preach honesty? Can Rahul Gandhi preach politics based on merit? Can Owaisi preach brotherhood between communities? Similarly, NDTV is on wet ground and needs to introspect. Meanwhile, the media space must rise because the immoral act of one can, and most probably will, effect their own credibility as well.