HindustanTimes Mon,22 Sep 2014

Asaram's Delhi ashram hasn't paid tax in 10 years

HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, September 07, 2013
First Published: 00:24 IST(7/9/2013) | Last Updated: 10:19 IST(7/9/2013)

Self-proclaimed godman Asaram, under arrest on charges of sexually abusing a minor, has for the last 10 years not paid the property tax for the ashram he has in a forested area in the heart of Delhi.

The North Delhi Municipal Corporation on Thursday sent a tax notice to Asaram’s ashram on the Upper Ridge Road. “Our record shows that he hasn’t paid the property tax from 2004-05 till 2013-14,” an official told HT. The yearly tax excluding the interest and penalty would be Rs. 70,000, the official said.

But, the dues would be much higher because the ashram would fall under the commercial category as flowers, candles and incense sticks were also sold on the premises, the official said.

The Asaram Bapu Trust that manages the three-acre property till September 12 to respond to the notice. Asaram, it is believed, has 450 ashrams across the world. Many face charges of land-grab. 

The Delhi ashram was in the thick of a controversy when a petition was filed in the Supreme Court in 1985 demanding all illegal structures in the Central Ridge be demolished. The court allowed the ashram but on strict conditions.

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