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Supreme Court directs audit of 32 lakh+ NGOs, seeks guidelines for regulation

 In an effort to regulate the unorganised NGO ecosystem in the country, the Supreme Court today issued a direction that will have a significant impact.

It directed the Central government to audit the accounts of more than 32 lakh NGOs which are functioning in the country and submit a report to the Court regarding the same.

The Bench also directed the Centre to frame guidelines with respect to accreditation of NGOs, maintenance of their accounts and auditing the same.

The direction was issued by a Bench presided by Chief Justice of India JS Khehar and comprising Justices NV Ramana and DY Chandrachud in a public interest litigation filed by advocate ML Sharma.

The Court heard the parties at length today and also placed reliance on the report submitted by Amicus Curiae Rakesh Dwivedi before issuing the order.

In its order, the Court noted that substantial funding is allowed for NGOs and voluntary organisations. Further, Rules 210-212 of the General Financial Rules, 2005 provide for a regulation mechanism for NGOs, though the respondents are not aware of the same. The court noted,

There are 32 lakh NGOs out of which nearly 3 lakh are filing balance sheets. The respondents are not aware of the responsibility of audit in the General Financial Rules. There can be no doubt that the funds disbursed by CAPART [to NGOs] is public money and needs to be accounted.

It, therefore, directed the Centre to complete the exercise of audit and submit a report by March 31 this year. It was directed,

In case of non-compliance, it is essential to initiate civil and criminal action immediately after the completion of the exercise.

Most importantly, the Court also directed the Centre to lay down guidelines/rules for accreditation of NGOs, the manner in which they shall maintain accounts and auditing of the same. The guidelines have to be placed before the Court on the next date of hearing.

Source: Barandbench.com

 

Consumers International conference at Hong Kong

 

CJ gave nod for raid, 2 judges kept watch

New Delhi: The CBI's unprecedented raid late Wednesday on a serving civil judge of Tis Hazari courts has sent shock waves across Delhi's legal circles. In a first for Delhi judiciary, Rachna Tiwari Lakhanpal, senior civil judge, was arrested by the agency on Tuesday night after she allegedly accepted a bribe of Rs 4 lakh from an advocate at her residence in Gulabi Bagh, north-west Delhi. A lawyer, Vishal Mehan, was also arrested by the agency.

Sources told TOI that the Anti Corruption Bureau (ACB) of the CBI had informed Delhi high court Chief Justice G Rohini on Wednesday evening about the proposed trap and sought her permission to raid the judge's residence. The CBI sleuths presented preliminary evidence, including the main complaint and SMS messages allegedly exchanged between Lakhanpal's husband and Mehan, discussing the bribe amount. This convinced the Chief Justice and she gave her nod.

However, as per Supreme Court guidelines governing the arrest of a judicial officer, the HC also deputed two additional sessions judges (ASJ) for accompanying the CBI raiding team and witness the entire operation. This was in order to keep the Chief Justice informed and enable seeking of further clearances for on-the-spot seizure of articles and arrest of the judge.

The SC ruling on arrest, which incidentally came on a petition filed by Tis Hazari judges over two decades ago, lays down that a judge can be arrested for an offence under intimation to the district judge or the high court. If immediate arrest of a judicial officer of the subordinate judiciary is necessary, a technical or formal arrest may be effected, it says, and specifies that the arrest should be immediately communicated to the district judge and Chief Justice of the high court.

The SC had also made it clear that an arrested judge will not be taken to a police station without prior directions from the district judge and that there should be no handcuffing of the arrested judicial officer unless he or she turns violent or if there is any danger to life and limb.

According to sources, the CBI, after securing permission, nabbed Mehan who had been appointed as the local commissioner in the matter by judge Lakhanpal and had been allegedly negotiating the bribe amount with the litigant who had complained to CBI.

When Mehan allegedly disclosed that the money was meant for the judge, the agency landed up at her residence, triggering panic in the household. The judge apparently locked herself up inside the house and attempted to dispose the alleged bribe money, according to sources.

TOI has also learnt that CBI was suprised to find CCTV cameras fitted everywhere in the house, including the bedroom, and promptly seized the footage, along with Rs 94 lakh recovered from Lakhanpal's residence to firm up evidence.

Following the late-night arrest, CBI teams prepared a seizure memo and related documents well into early morning even as the accompanying judges saw the proceedings and kept Chief Justice Rohini informed.

Thursday morning saw a flurry of activity in the high court when its administrative commitee went into a huddle to discuss the CBI raid. By afternoon, senior judges opted to call a full court meeting of the high court where a decision was taken to suspend Lakhanpal with immediate effect.

"The HC has put her track record under scrutiny and will examine if there has been any other instance of stinking impropriety. Her previous judgements and conduct as also her court staff will now be questioned by the vigilance wing," said a top source.

Source: The Times of India

 

POSTER PRESENTATION COMPETITION

"SATARK-The Consumer Club" of PGDAV College organized its first event for session 2016-17- The Poster Presentation on 6th  September 2016 in its evening staffroom. There were two rounds in which students were given two topics- E-waste and Chemicals in our food. Every participant was supposed to make the poster on any one topic.

E-waste means the discarded electronics which are meant for reuse, resale and recycle, whereas Chemicals in our food means additives which are added in the food products by the producers to make the food look more fresh and attractive. The objective of this competition was to trigger students to research on the two topics affecting the lives globally and present it in the form of creative poster.

12 out of 16 posters were shortlisted for the second round, i.e. the presentation round. Initial screening was done by the SATARK Faculty team on 2 September 2016. To judge the final round, Dr. Sunil Prakash and Sh. Navneet Gupta from Consumers Forum were invited.

The event started at 11 a.m. with a brief introduction about the competition and honoring the judges with a small token of gratitude. The poster of each participant was displayed and they made a presentation amongst judges and the audience. Each participant was given a maximum of 7 minutes to complete the presentation. 11 participants made their presentation and discussed various aspects of e-waste and chemicals in our food. The session turned out to be a great learning experience for all present.

At the end of presentation, Dr. Sunil Prakash and Mr. Navneet Gupta shared their feedback regarding the competition and provided useful guidance to the participants for improvement. The results of both the judges were compiled to finalise the winners. The first position was bagged by Himani, second position was a tie between Shagun and Shweta. A special reward was given to Akshay and Gargi for their creative thought. Winners were rewarded by honourable judges with prizes. Finally the convenor, Mrs. Sakshi Verma presented a vote of thanks to the judges, faculty, particiapnts, audience and the supporting staff.

 

Consumer Voice

Interaction at a workshop organised by VOICE with panelists on the current scenario of huge discounts schemes by the E-commerce sites to lure customers.
 
 
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