Reports claim IT raids being conducted at The Quint founder Raghav Bahl’s residence and Quint office

Reports have emerged that Income Tax raids are being conducted at the residential premises of Raghav Bahl, the owner and founder of the website The Quint.

Raghav Bahl founded The Quint, was earlier the founder and managing director of Network 18. In 2014, he stepped down and sold the company to Reliance for a whopping Rs. 4000 crores, according to LiveMint. It was considered one of the biggest media takeovers in terms of the sheer value of the deal. It is reported that Raghav Bahl walked out of Network 18 after the takeover with a whopping Rs. 700 crores.

In July 2014 Bahl announced that he would be launching a digital media venture and 8 months later, Bahl launched Quintillion Media with TheQuint.com.

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Bahl has since then invested in several digital portals. For example, Raghav Bahl’s Quintillion invested Rs 4 crores in a left-leaning portal “YouthKiAwaaz”. It was also reported the Raghav Bahl invested in TheNewsMinute.com, thought the quantum of investment was not disclosed.

As per a report on the Statesman, “As per the income tax report, two media firms – INX Media and Network 18 — had in 2008 allegedly bribed Karti for getting FIPB approvals. At that time, INX Media was co-owned by Peter Mukherjee, and Network 18 that runs TV channels like CNN-IBN and news portals was controlled by Raghav Bahl, who now runs the Quint website”.

The CBI had filed an FIR in the INX scam case in May 2017 alleging that Karti had received a bribe of Rs 3.5 crores from the Peter and Indrani Mukherjee owned INX Media Pvt Ltd. INX Media was later named as 9X.

It is being reported that the IT raids were carried out allegedly for evading tax on undisclosed income. The Quint office, too, has been raided by IT officials.

It is also being reported that the searches are being conducted at the premises of a few other people as part of the ITD action to probe tax evasion by a set of business professionals.

Raghav Bahl has issued a statement to the Editor’s Guild of India. He has asserted that while he was in Mumbai, dozens of IT sleuths raided his premises and The Quint’s office premises. He has said that he will co-operate but has urged the sleuths not to pick up or see any documents or emails which might contain sensitive journalistic material.

This is a developing story and will be updated as and when we receive more information.

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