The Supreme Court on Wednesday (27.04.2017) suggested that the government ought to frame a statutory law to regulate the flow of public money to the NGOs even as the Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART) recommended the registration of 159 FIRs against various NGOs for swindling government funds.
A three-judge Bench led by Chief Justice of India J.S. Khehar suggested introducing a law after perusing guidelines handed over by the government to the court, appointing NITI Aayog as the nodal agency for NGO registration.
But the court said the guidelines might not prove sufficient for “systematising the entire process of accreditation, fund utilisation and audit of NGOs”.
The Centre on April 4 handed over to the Supreme Court the new guidelines framed for accreditation of nearly 30 lakh NGOs and voluntary organisation in the country.
The Union Rural Development Ministry had framed the accreditation guidelines to regulate the “manner in which the VOs/NGOs, which are recipient of grants, would maintain their account, the procedure for audit of the account, including procedure to initiate action for recovering of the grants in case of misappropriation and criminal action”.
The court, however, gave the government the liberty to start civil and criminal proceedings against 703 NGOs, which according to CAPART, have defaulted. The agency, which works under the Rural Development Ministry, said 718 NGOs had been initially blacklisted, but 15 had responded satisfactorily to notices issued on them.
CBI records filed in 2016 in the Supreme Court had shown show that only 2,90,787 NGOs file annual financial statements of a total of 29,99,623 registered ones under the Societies Registration Act.