Mumbai: The Bombay High Court has directed the Charity Commissioner to conduct an inquiry into the nature and authenticity of documentary material provided by South India Assemblies of God Society to prove that it was registered under the relevant Act in 1951.
The Society had applied to the Charity Commissioner for a certified copy of its Registration Certificate and also for copies of Trust Deed, Constitution and Byelaws.
On December 5, 2011, the petitioner was informed, in response to a query under the RTI, that an effort was being made to trace the record.
The Society had relied upon documentary material in these proceedings in support of its case that it was granted registration under the Societies' Registration Act, 1860.
As it did not get any response, it filed a petition in the HC seeking a direction to the authorities to reconstruct its records and issue a registration certificate.
Justice D Y Chandrachud and Justice R D Dhanuka observed, "in our view, the claim of the petitioner that it was registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, in 1951 and seeking a reconstruction of the record, including the issuance of a copy of the Registration Certificate, would have to be addressed to the Charity Commissioner."
"The petitioner has relied upon documentary material. The nature and authenticity of the documentary material would have to be assessed by Charity Commissioner. This would require an enquiry purely into matters of fact and it should be undertaken by the Charity Commissioner," the Judges said in their order delivered recently.
The HC asked the Charity Commissioner to conduct an inquiry within a period of three months and arrive at a final decision in respect of the request of the petitioner.
The documentary material relied upon by the petitioner to support its claim consists of letters received by it from the authorities concerned in 1959, 1975 and 1979.