Can Hindu deities have demat accounts to enable them transact in shares and debentures on the stock market?
The Bombay High Court will decide the issue after a religious trust filed a petition challenging the decision of National Securities Depository Ltd (NSDL) to refuse it permission for opening demat accounts in the names of five Hindu deities.
“When the Income Tax department has issued PAN cards to these five deities why should NSDL not allow opening of demat accounts in their names?” the trust has asked in the petition, which is likely to come up for hearing later this week.
The deities of the Sangli-based trust “Ganpati Panchayatam Sansthan” are Lord Ganesh, Chintamaneshwardev, Chintamaneshwaridevi, Suryanarayandev and Laxminarayandev.
The trust, belonging to the Patwardhan family, the erstwhile royals of Sangli, had obtained PAN cards in the names of deities in 2008. Recently, the trust applied for opening demat accounts in the names of these deities through a private bank but the request was turned down by NSDL.
The trust contended in the petition that various High Courts and the Supreme Court have given decision in different cases allowing Hindu deities to acquire property.