The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear the plea filed by apex court lawyer Manohar Lal Sharma seeking a direction in the NGO funding case. Earlier, noting that NGOs get “mind-boggling” funds and it has become a “major problem,” the apex court said that it will consider asking the Law Commission of India to bring an effective law to regulate the flow of money to a total 29.99 lakh NGOs functioning in the country.
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The Bench, also comprising Justice A.M. Khanwilkar, asked senior advocate Rakesh Dwivedi to assist the court in finding a way to deal with the issue and, if necessary, refer to the Law Commission. Advocate M.L. Sharma, the petitioner in the case, submitted that 80 per cent of the NGOs get foreign funds. He claimed that “retired government employees and politicians run these NGOs drawing on their influence.”
The CBI records filed in the Supreme Court in the case show that only 2,90,787 NGOs file annual financial statements of a total of 29,99,623 registered ones under the Societies Registration Act. In some States, the CBI said the laws do not even provide for the NGOs to be transparent about their financial dealings. In the Union Territories, of a total of 82,250 NGOs registered and functioning, only 50 file their returns.