In a relief to yoga guru Ramdev, Delhi High Court on Monday ordered defreezing of 11 bank accounts of Patanjali Yogpeeth Nyas, sealed by Income Tax department after the trust allegedly failed to pay the first instalment of Rs75 lakh of the total tax of Rs34.68 crore.
"We direct the attachment order (of bank accounts) be lifted subject to petitioner (Patanjali Yogpeeth Nyas) paying Rs2.10 crore (as Income Tax) by March 15," a bench of justices Badar Durrez Ahmed and RV Easwar said.
Disposing of the plea of Patanjali Yogpeeth Nyas, run by Ramdev, the court also directed the Income Tax Commissioner (Appeals) to decide its appeal by March 31. The direction came on the plea of the trust filed against a decision of the IT department to freeze its 11 bank accounts on January 14 after it allegedly failed to pay Rs75 lakh towards first instalment of total tax of Rs34.68 crore due from it for assessment year 2009-10.
The trust had also sought a stay on recovery proceedings initiated in pursuance of tax demand notice of Rs34.68 crore. The counsel, appearing for Patanjali Yogpeeth, said the accounts have been attached without prior intimation to the trust. Moreover, the petitioner is a charitable trust and hence, the tax was not due from it, he contended.
The court did not stay the recovery proceedings and asked the IT department to decide the trust's appeal by March 31. The trust, in its plea, said it is a charitable organisation and hence exempted from income tax.