Centre for Advancement of Philanthropy (CAP) was established in the year 1986 and one of its objects is to represent and advocate the cause of the sector before various bodies.
The Lokpal and the Lokayukta Act 2013 has raised anxiety and legitimate concern among Board Members and Senior Officers of NGOs and charitable organizations which are:
a) Wholly or partly financed by the Government and the annual income of which exceeds Rs. 1 Crore;
b) In receipt of any donation from any foreign source under the Foreign Contribution (Regulation) Act, 2010 in excess of Ten lakhs Rupees in a year.
The Act arbitrarily and incorrectly clubs private individuals serving in a fiduciary capacity with public functionaries and deeming them as “public servants”. Several provisions of the law are unconstitutional and a grave violation of the right to privacy.
Further, the office of the Lokpal is not functional, but the Ministry has been issuing various notifications including the notification asking the office bearers/ trustees/individuals to disclose their assets, assets of their spouse and dependent children, in the forms prescribed.
Thanks to the efforts of Member of the Rajya Sabha, Mrs. Anu Aga, the government appears ready to extend the 31st July 2016 deadline. Please see http://toi.in/BsChhZ43/a18fg
Bravo and CAP thanks you Anu, for being the voice of the sector and the voice of reason in Parliament.
In the meantime CAP will be filing on behalf of its members and affiliates a Writ Petition in the Bombay High Court to challenge the constitutional validity of some of the provisions in the Lokpal Act.
We are grateful to Senior Counsel Mr. D. J. Khambata (former Attorney General, Maharashtra State), Advocate Naira Jejeebhoy and Mulla & Mulla Solicitors, especially Mr. B. H. Antia Senior Partner, Mr. H.N Vakil, Partner, as also Ms. S. M. Vakil, Solicitor for their guidance and assistance to CAP.
This Note is by way of information to all our Members and Affiliates with a special request to:
1) Not make any undue haste in filing the Returns under the Lokpal Act.
2) Let us know in writing specific concerns they have regarding this law.
3) Specific difficulties they are likely to face as a result of this law.
Noshir H. Dadrawala