Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) finds itself in a tough spot, days after grandly celebrating 100 years of its existence by no less than having Prime Minister Narendra Modi grace the centennial event. In a major development which has projected AMU as an alleged tax-incompliant institution, the Aligarh Municipal Corporation seized the university’s bank account for non-payment of tax dues, despite being urged by the corporation to do so for years on end now. AMU has of late been grabbing the national headlines for all the wrong reasons, and the seizure of its bank account is yet another feather in the cap of the institution to the same effect.
Vinay Kumar Rai, Chief Taxation Officer, Aligarh while talking to ANI said that the administration has given enough chances to AMU to pay the dues. The CTO also informed that property tax to the tune of Rs. 14 crores were due to be paid by the university. “There was property tax due of around Rs 14.83 crore of Aligarh Municipal Corporation on AMU. The dues were pending for the last 8 to 10 years. In 2019 we have seized the accounts. We have given them enough chances and asked them to pay the dues but they did not do so. Hence, we were forced to take the decision of seizing the bank account of Aligarh Muslim University,” Rai told ANI.
Importantly, the Aligarh Municipal Corporation, after seizing the bank account has also set a timeline for the Aligarh Muslim University to cough up the dues in one week’s time. In case the university does not pay up the tax dues, the Municipal Corporation has informed that “money from AMU’s account will be transferred to Municipal Corporation”. Additionally, the Chief Taxation Officer also said that if dues by AMU are not paid within a week’s time, the corporation will actively deliberate on the prospect of taking over university properties to reimburse itself of the amount it is owed.
The development comes as a huge shock for many AMU fans, who have a propensity to sing laurels of the university where Mohammad Ali Jinnah is looked up to as an intellectual and a person from which people must draw inspiration. Again, the same university, which has Islamists swarming the campus in abundance, has a tendency to actively speak in support of infinite fundamental rights and freedom of speech. Of course, paying taxes does not fit in to the larger scheme of things which the university and its students act towards.