Union Minister for Information and Broadcasting Anurag Thakur on Wednesday claimed that in its response to a notice from the Centre, the BBC has admitted to have violated foreign direct investment rules in India.

At a conclave organised by news channel Republic TV, the Bharatiya Janata Party leader said that the Union finance ministry had been seeking details from the British broadcaster for three years on the alleged violation of laws.

“They have agreed in writing that they have done wrong,” the minister claimed. “There will be an investigation into the matter.”

Earlier this month, the Enforcement Directorate had registered a case against BBC India under the Foreign Exchange Management Act. The investigation focuses on alleged foreign direct investment violations by BBC India and the broadcaster has been asked to show its financial statements.

The Enforcement Directorate case was filed less than two months after the Income Tax department searched the BBC offices in Mumbai and Delhi. The tax department had alleged that BBC’s income in India was not commensurate with the scale of its operations in the country.

The inspection took place close on the heels of the release of a BBC documentary about Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s alleged role in the 2002 riots in Gujarat. More than 1,000 people – most of them Muslims – were killed in the violence.

Several global media rights advocates and India’s opposition leaders had condemned the searches, saying the timing of the action “smacked of intimidation”. The BBC had said that it stood by its colleagues and journalists “who will continue to report without fear or favour”.

However, the government maintained that there is no connection between the BBC documentary and the Income Tax surveys.

In March, British Foreign Minister James Cleverly had said that he had raised the issue of tax searches at the BBC offices with his Indian counterpart S Jaishankar. Before him, British Foreign Office Minister David Rutley had also said that his government stands with the BBC.