Defreeze Baba Ramdev's Patanjali Yogpeeth accounts: HC

New Delhi, Feb 11 (IANS) The Delhi High Court Monday directed the Income Tax department to defreeze the 11 bank accounts of Patanjali Yogpeeth Nyas, a trust run by Baba Ramdev.

The IT Department had sealed the trust, after it failed to pay the first instalment of Rs.75 lakh out of the total tax of Rs.34.68 crore.

A division bench of Justice Badar Durrez Ahmed and Justice R.V. Easwar said in the order: "We direct the attachment order (of bank accounts) be lifted subject to petitioner (Patanjali Yogpeeth Nyas) paying Rs.2.10 crore (as Income Tax) by March 15."

The bench, refusing to stay the recovery proceedings, asked the Income Tax Commissioner (Appeals) to decide the appeal of Patanjali Yogpeeth by March 31 and disposed of the plea.

The court was hearing the plea filed by the trust challenging the IT department's decision to freeze its 11 bank accounts on Jan 14 after it allegedly failed to pay Rs.75 lakh towards first installment of total tax of Rs.34.68 crore due from it for assessment year 2009-10.

Pleading that it is a charitable organisation and hence exempted from income tax, the Patanjali Yogpeeth also sought a stay on recovery proceedings initiated in pursuance of tax demand notice of Rs.34.68 crore.

During a brief hearing, the counsel appearing for the trust told the court that the "accounts have been attached without prior intimation to the trust".

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