Charity fund collection without permission on the rise
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Be it cancer prevention or relief to drought-hit areas, fund collection for charity works in Pune have always been popular. However, the chairty events, which are attended by many, have been lax when it comes to obtaining permission for their works.
Since the last two years none of the charity events in the city had the mandatory permission from the Charity Commissioner's Office, which is a must under the Bombay Public Trust Act, 1950. In the last one year or so, not a single charity event had obtained the necessary permissions to collect money. Other than keeping a tab on such collections, the charity commissioner' s office can also ask for audits of the funds collected.
At the start of year, large amount of money were collected by political outfits, individuals and social organisations for relief works in dorught-hit areas across the state. Puneites had donated money, food grains and other things for drough relief. However not a single outfit, including the political parties, had taken the permissions and months after the events had not given any accounts of the expenditure.
After monsoon, slew of events like lunches, special shows and others have been organised. Sports events for hospitals or other causes have also been held in the city, which had received good participation. However, officials from the charity commissioner's office stated that none of the events had applied for the permission to collect money.
The only permissions given by the office for temporary collection of funds was by the Ganesh Mandals and Navratri Mandals. Records show that this year 985 Ganesh Mandals and 146 Navratri Mandals had obtained permissions to collect funds. Senior officers said in absence of penal action such collections continue. "Although the Act does not have any penal action clause, action can be taken by police or the collector under relevant laws," an officer said. Mohan Phadnis, former secretary of the Charity Commissioner Bar Council, said people should check before subscribing to any charity. "People should take proper precaution before donating. They should check if permissions were sought and after events ask for audited statements of how the funds were spent," he said.
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