The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted three more months to the Central Bureau of Investigation to provide details about all registered non-governmental organisations in the country and whether they file balance sheets before the authority.
A bench headed by Justice H L Dattu granted time after the agency submitted that all the states have not provided information regarding NGOs and it needs more time to compile the details. Meanwhile, the agency submitted that most of the NGOs are not filing Income Tax returns.
It said that Gujarat and Tamil Nadu have not given information about the NGOs working in their states and Andhra Pradesh, Bihar , Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Odisha and Maharastra provided only partial inputs.
NGOs have come under judicial scrutiny with the Supreme Court on September 2 asking the CBI to provide details about such registered organisations and their financial statements on a public interest litigating seeking a probe into alleged embezzling of funds.
The apex court had expanded the scope of the PIL which was filed in 2011 against an NGO, Hind Swaraj Trust, run by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare.
In September, it had directed the agency to file within six weeks the names of all the registered NGOs and to indicate in its affidavit as to whether they have filed their balance sheets, including income-expenditure statements before the authority before whom they are registered.
Earlier, the agency had expressed difficulty in probing and collecting information on NGOs and had pleaded that the task be handed over to states, but the plea was summarily rejected by the court which directed the agency to comply with its order. “If CBI can probe murder cases then why not probe against NGOs? You can do so many things, you do it also,” the bench had said.
Image: A woman from an NGO holds a replica of a globe in her hands. Photograph is for representational purposes only.