New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday pulled up the Centre for not putting in place a regulatory mechanism to monitor the funds and their utilisation by NGOs, societies and voluntary organisations. SC directed government to go after defaulting NGOs and submit compliance report to it by March 31.
The bench, headed by Chief Justice of India J S Khehar, rapped Centre for not putting in place a regulatory mechanism to monitor the NGO funds and their utilisation."Government should initiate civil and criminal action against NGOs that have misappropriated public funds," the bench said.
The court asks Government to detect and punish this NGOs which have taken public funds and not submitted utilisation certificates.
CBI informed the SC that of about 33 lakh NGOs, only 3 lakh filed audited accounts with authorities.
The bench also asked Centre to frame rules and guidelines to accredit NGOs, audit them and take action if they allegedly misuse public funds.
During the hearing, CJI directed the Rural Development Secretary and Director of Council for Advancement of People’s Action and Rural Technology (CAPART), which comes under Rural Development Ministry and told them that the government will not file affidavits in court signed by an officer below Joint Secretary rank and observed, "It is seen that government file affidavit signed by under secretaries who do not know anything about the issue."
The bench also asked the officials to inform it whether CAG audit of NGOs post 2009 was carried out or not. The bench also asked whether General Financial Rules 2005 made by Ministry of Finance were complied with or not. The court was hearing a petition filed by advocate M L Sharma, seeking monitoring of funds given to NGOs and their utilisation by them. (News24Bureau/PTI)