Charity Commissioner, Maharashtra State Special Drive 2017
(For Filing of Audited Accounts and Change Reports under The Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950)
The Hon’ble Charity Commissioner, Maharashtra State, Mumbai vide Notification dated DGIPR/2016-2017/4109 has notified the Special Drive, 2017 Scheme for speedy disposal of all the Change Reports (Change in Trustees / Properties) during the period 01/01/2017 – 31/01/2017.
The Scheme comes as a boost for updation of the Trust Records with the Charity Commissioner’s office. Earlier, there was no pre-set time limit for disposal of any Change Reports filed with the Charity Commissioner in Schedule III / III-A. The Circular states that the Change Reports filed henceforth shall be disposed off within 30 days time-limit.
The Special Drive has also made it mandatory to file the Audit Reports with the Charity Office. Now Audit Reports which were previously not filed with the Charity Commissioners Office can be easily placed on records with the Charity Commissioner. It is pertinent to note that under the provisions of the Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950, the Audited Annual Accounts of the Trusts have to be submitted on record with the office of the Charity Commissioner. Therefore, those Trusts who have not audited their Books of Accounts or have audited their books of accounts but not filed with the Charity Commissioner’s office shall have to file the same before 31/01/2017.
The Scheme also states that the Trusts not complying the provisions of the Scheme shall be taken up for scrutiny for cancellation of the registration of the Trusts. The provisions of Chapter VI of the Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950 give substantial powers to the Charity Commissioner authorities including powers of inspection & supervision (sec. 37), soliciting explanations on accounts (sec. 38), to institute inquiries (sec. 41B), suspension / removal of Trustees (sec/ 41D) among others.
Those familiar with Trust related work shall appreciate the provisions of this Scheme which comes as a major boost for transparent and compliance-proof Trust work. The Scheme may be set up in order to computerize all records of Trusts. This seems to be and effort made by the Charity authorities to make feasible all the information and records digital. Henceforth, this drive will optimize the convenience for all the Trusts and it will be effortless to obtain any of the record.
The Charity Commissioner Special Drive commences from 1st January, 2017. This drive allows all the pending Change Reports to be filed from 1st January, 2017 up to 31st January, 2017.
3. Who should take benefit of the scheme?
4. Consequences of not filing Change reports / Audit Reports:
Failing to file the Change Reports/Audit Reports may give rise to Assessment by Charity commissioner Authority which may lead to fines and penalties. As discussed above, Chapter VI of the Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950 empowers the Charity Commissioner Authorities to make requisite enquiries.
The process of cancellation of registration of the Trusts, which have failed to file the Audit Reports for the past years, shall commence during this period.
DETAILS ABOUT THE AUTHOR
CA Navinchandra Premji Dedhia
ICAI Membership No. 037421
Address: 125 / 126, Ganesh Tower, Dada Patil Road, Thane West – 400602.
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