The Supreme Court Monday asked the CBI to file an affidavit stating whether NGOs receiving financial assistance from the government and other aid agencies were filing the statement of their accounts on the funds received by them and how these were spent.
A bench of Justice H.L.Dattu and Justice M.Y. Eqbal also asked the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) to furnish the details on the number of registered NGOs operating in the country and whether they were filing their statement of accounts every financial year.
The court’s order came in the course of the hearing of a PIL by advocate M.L.Sharma who alleged irregularities in utilisation of funds provided to an NGO with which anti-corruption activist Anna Hazare is associated.
Petitioner’s advocate said that Hazare’s Hind Swaraj Trust (HST) based in his village Ralegan Siddhi was set up on Feb 8, 1995, and applied for registration with a capital of Rs.500 only on Feb 21, 1995. It said it was registered on April 4, 1995.
However, the petitioner has alleged that Hazare’s HST received a cheque of Rs.45 lakh from the central government on March 31, 1995, to meet the expanses of the trust for the financial year 1994-95. Similarly, it was given Rs.65.85 lakh by the Maharashtra government for the year 1995-96.
The petition relating to 2011 has questioned how could a trust which was not even born and having funds no more than Rs.500 as capital for registration spent Rs.45 lakh for the period of 1994-95 prior to its establishment.
The court has given the CBI eight weeks’ time to file its affidavit.