BHOPAL :  A custom-made car worth Rs 1.30 crore has been procured for the Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati, the Shankaracharya of Dwarka Peeth but he does not want to pay the stipulated registration fees on it.

The disciples of Shankaracharya have filed an application seeking exemption from payment of tax with the office of the regional transport officer (RTO) of Narsinghpur and the matter has been forwarded to the state government.

The car is a Swaraj Mazda costing Rs 15 lakh. An additional Rs 1 crore has been spent on its modification and on additional fitments. That means the seer would have to pay Rs 9 lakh (7 per cent of the cost of the vehicle) as road tax. The Shankaracharya tried in vain to pay road tax on the base price of the car.

During the regime of former chief minister Babulal Gaur, Swaroopanand’s car was exempted from registration fees and a proposal on the same lines has been prepared by the transport department to be placed before the cabinet for approval.

Matter to go before cabinet

Was given similar exemption in 2004

Brahmanand, a key disciple of Shankaracharya told Free Press said an application seeking exemption from payment of tax was submitted to RTO, Narsinghpur and the car has been registered. He said this has been done as the government did not take any decision even after Rs 5 lakh was deposited as fee.

Meanwhile, RTO, Narsinghpur, Santosh Pal said that Shankaracharya’s car has not been registered by his office. He said the matter was pending with the government. Sources said officers of the transport department were pressurised to exempt the car from registration fees but no officer agreed to do it.

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Free Press Journal