Setback for Ramdev as Supreme Court upholds tribunal order: ‘Yoga fee taxable’ : The Tribune India

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Setback for Ramdev as Supreme Court upholds tribunal order: ‘Yoga fee taxable’

Setback for Ramdev as Supreme Court upholds tribunal order: ‘Yoga fee taxable’

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld an appellate tribunal’s ruling holding the Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust liable to pay service tax for charging an entry fee for organising yoga camps — both residential and non-residential.



Tribune News Service

New Delhi, April 19

The Supreme Court on Friday upheld an appellate tribunal’s ruling holding the Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust liable to pay service tax for charging an entry fee for organising yoga camps — both residential and non-residential.

Liable to pay service tax

The Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) had held that yoga camps organised by Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust — which charges fee — came under the category of “health and fitness service” and attracted service tax

Dismisses appeal

The tribunal has rightly held that yoga in camps for a fee is a service. Don’t find a reason to interfere. SC Bench

“The tribunal has rightly held that yoga in camps for a fee is a service. We do not find any reason to interfere with the impugned order. The appeal is dismissed,” a Bench of Justice Abhay S Oka and Justice Ujjal Bhuyan said, refusing to interfere with the October 5, 2023, order of the Allahabad Bench of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT).

The CESTAT had held that yoga camps organised by Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust — which charges fee for participation — came under the category of “health and fitness service” and attracted service tax.

Working under Ramdev and his aide Balkrishna, the Trust was engaged in providing yoga training at various residential and non-residential camps for which fee was collected from participants by way of donation, the tribunal had said.

“Though this amount was collected as a donation, it was fees for providing the said services and hence covered under the definition of consideration,” it had said, adding that the Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise, Meerut range, has raised the service tax demand of approximately Rs 4.5 crore from October 2006 to March 2011 with penalty and interest.

The Trust had contended that it was providing services which were for curing ailments and that it was not taxable under “health and fitness service”.

“In our view, the appellant (Patanjali Trust) was engaged in providing the services that were classifiable under the taxable category of services provided by health club and fitness centre, as defined under Section 65 (52) of the Finance Act, to any person,” the appellate tribunal had said in its order.

“The claim of the appellant that they are providing treatment for specific ailments being suffered by the person is not supported by any positive evidence. Instructions on ‘yoga’ and ‘meditation’ in these camps are not imparted to an individual but to the entire gathering together. No prescriptions are made for any individual in writing, diagnosing and treating the specific ailment/complaint of any individual,” it had said.

The appellate tribunal had said the Trust collected the entry fee disguising it as donation. “They issued entry tickets of various denominations. The holder of the ticket was granted different privileges depending on the denomination of the ticket,” it had said. (With PTI inputs)

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