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Tata Trusts chief R Venkataramanan may move to new position within group post I-T Department's withdrawal of tax relief

FP Staff
The rejig comes following the Income Tax Department's withdrawal of the tax exemption granted to Sir Dorabji Tata Trust

Managing Trustee of the Sir Dorabji Tata Trust R Venkataramanan is likely to move to another part of the Tatas and a decision regarding this may be taken next week at the board meeting, a media report said.

The rejig comes following the Income Tax Department's withdrawal of the tax exemption granted to Sir Dorabji Tata Trust after the authorities found a violation of certain conditions by the trust, The Economic Times reported.

The newspaper, citing an order, said that the I-T Department had ruled that "the annual salary of Rs 2.66 crore drawn by Venkataramanan was not in accordance with the trust's deed."

In October last year, six Tata Trusts had withdrawn their petitions filed in the Bombay High Court challenging the show cause notices issued against them by the Income Tax Department as to why their registrations should not be cancelled.

The Income Tax Commissioner (Exemptions) had issued notices to these six trusts on 8 March, 2018 for alleged non-compliance of rules governing the trust funds.

The notices sought to know why their registrations under Section 12A of the Income Tax Act should not be cancelled for non-compliance.

Following this, the trusts, including the Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust, Jamsetji Tata Trust and the Tata Education Trust, had petitioned the high court challenging the notices.

When the petitions came up for hearing on before a division bench of Justices SC Dharmadhikari and BP Colabawalla, the trusts' lawyers sought to withdraw the pleas without assigning any reason.

Venkataramanan was also embroiled in a controversy surrounding AirAsia. In June last year, Tata Trusts came out in support of Venkataramanan, who was under investigation by the CBI for allegedly trying to manipulate government policies through corrupt means to get an international licence for AirAsia India.

Venkataramanan is a shareholder and director of AirAsia India, a joint venture between Tata Sons and Malaysian budget carrier AirAsia.

The office of Venkataramanan, in his capacity as a Non-Executive Director and a nominee of Tata Sons on the Board of AirAsia India Limited, in the Trust office premises, was visited by the authorities and clarifications sought on some papers relating to AirAsia India, some of which were taken by the authorities, Tata Trusts had said.

Venkataramanan had said that allegations of wrongdoing against him in AirAsia probe were baseless and that he had been wrongly named as an accused.

The CBI had registered a case against AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes, Venkataramanan and other officials in the case.

With inputs from PTI

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