Patanjali Yogpeeth to Pay Service Tax for Yoga Camps, Supreme Court Upholds CESTAT Decision
Patanjali Yogpeeth to Pay Service Tax for Yoga Camps, Supreme Court Upholds CESTAT Decision

New Delhi: Yoga guru Swami Ramdev has faced another setback from the Supreme Court as his yoga camps are now subjected to service tax. The Supreme Court bench comprising Justice Abhay M Oak and Justice Ujjwal Bhuiyan has upheld the decision of the Service Tax Appellate Tribunal in this matter. According to the tribunal's decision, 'Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust', the organization organizing yoga camps of Swami Ramdev, will now have to pay service tax for both residential and non-residential yoga camps.

Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust charges an entry fee for Swami Ramdev's yoga camps. The bench of Justice Oak and Justice Bhuiyan stated in their decision, 'The Service Tax Appellate Tribunal has made the correct decision. After charging the entry fee, yoga provided at the camps constitutes a service. We see no reason to interfere with the Tribunal's order. Therefore, Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust's appeal is dismissed.' Additionally, the court declined to interfere with the order dated October 5, 2023, of the Allahabad bench of the Customs, Excise, and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT).

CESTAT had acknowledged that Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust charges fees from participants for the yoga camps. Therefore, the trust's yoga camps fall under the purview of service tax. The tribunal stated that the trust provides yoga training in various residential and non-residential camps and collects money from participants in the form of donations, which essentially function as entry fees for the provided services.

The Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise, Meerut Range, had demanded that Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust pay approximately Rs 4.5 crore, including penalty and interest, for camps organized between October 2006 and March 2011. The trust argued that it provides services for the treatment of diseases, which should not be taxable under the 'Health and Fitness Services' category. However, the tribunal stated that the trust's claim of providing treatment for specific diseases lacked positive evidence.

CESTAT stated, 'In these camps, yoga and meditation are taught to the entire group, not to any individual. No prescriptions are written to diagnose or treat any specific disease/complaint of an individual. The Trust collects the camp entry fee as a donation and issues entry tickets of different price ranges, providing different privileges depending on the value of the ticket. Yoga camps organized by Patanjali Yogpeeth Trust, which charge fees, fall under the category of health and fitness services and are liable to service tax.'

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