HC restrains charity commissioner from transferring amount

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Mumbai, Feb 27 (UNI) The Bombay High Court today restrained the Charity Commissioner from transferring any amount, accumulated with his office, by deducting amounts from the Registered Charity Organisations.

A division bench, comprising Justices Bilal Nazki and S A Bobde, was hearing a public interest litigation filed by four Jain Trusts registered with the Charity Commissioner's office.

Advocate Prafulla Shah, appearing for the petitioner trusts, pointed out that the Charity Commissioner's office was diverting funds to other boards and it has already transferred Rs two crore to the State Wakf Board and had urged the court to restrain the Charity Commissioner from such diversion of funds, accumulated with him.

Charity Commissioner's office has been set up to look after and for the well being of registered charity organisations, under provisions of Bombay Public Trusts Act, which also provides for deducting certain percentage of gross incomes of registered trusts to incur annual expenditure of Charity Commissioner's office and other establishments under him. But, the Act also limits utilisation of these deductions only for the incurring expenditure.

The petitioner trusts moved the high court after they found that roughly Rs 22 crore was being collected by the Charity Commissioner's office from registered Charity Organisations while the expenditure was limited to Rs 15 crore annually.

During course of hearing on their petition, it has came to light that over the years more than Rs 156 crore had been accumulated with the Charity Commissioner's office and the amounts have been invested as fixed deposits with different banks.

It was contention of the petitioners that the deductions made by Charity Commissioner's office were not Taxes and the office could not deduct any more amounts until earlier accumulated amounts were spent and they urged the court to restrain Charity Commissioner from deducting such amounts from Charity Organisations.

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