//
you're reading...
legal issues

Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church (TELC) – is not a society – Apex court held that when it is not a society the question of exemption and not to exemption from application of Societies Registration Act – does not arise – all the officers and all the court below failed to take notice of the same under sec. 4 of the Act – Apex court held that In our opinion, the expression “Societies” (registered under the 1860 Act) occurring in Section 53 must be understood to mean only those Societies which do not fall under the exemption granted under Section 4(3) of the Act. Unless the expression “Societies” occurring under Section 53 of the Act is understood to mean Societies other than those whose object is promotion of religion, atheletics or sports, the Act would result in creation of two classes of Societies having the same object, but one class is subjected to the discipline of the Act and the other class exempted from it – all other things being equal except the accident of an existing Society on the date of the Act also happens to be a Society registered under the 1860 Act. Such an interpretation which would be in violation of Article 14 is certainly required to be avoided. There can neither be any reasonable basis for such classification nor any purpose to be achieved by such classification. Therefore, the Act is not applicable to TELC at all. Looked at in the abovementioned background of the statutory scheme, we are of the opinion that the entire litigation between the parties herein is without any basis in law. It resulted in wastage of time of the judiciary as well as the administration. Apparently neither of the parties nor the administration had the time to examine or inclination to examine the scheme of the 1975 Act. We are sorry to say, even the judiciary (Bar & Bench) did not do any better. In view of our above conclusion, it is really not necessary for us to examine various submissions made in this appeal by both the parties as all the submissions proceeded on the assumption that TELC is a Society governed by the provisions of the Act. For the above reasons, the appeal is allowed. The judgment under appeal is set- aside. The second respondent, if he still has any legally tenable grievance de hors the 1975 Act, is free to pursue such remedy to him under the law.= CIVIL APPEAL NO. 8458 OF 2014 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.9592 of 2012) H.A. Martin & Others …Appellants Versus Moses Thambi Pillai & Others …Respondents = 2014 – Sept. Month – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41880

Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church (TELC) – is not a society – Apex court held that when it is not a society the question of exemption and not to exemption from application of Societies Registration Act – does not arise – all the officers and all the court below failed to take notice of the same under sec. 4 of the Act – Apex court held that In  our opinion,  the  expression  “Societies”  (registered  under  the  1860   Act) occurring in Section 53 must be understood  to  mean  only  those  Societies which do not fall under the exemption granted  under  Section  4(3)  of  the Act.  Unless  the  expression “Societies” occurring under Section 53 of the  Act  is  understood  to  mean Societies  other  than  those  whose  object  is  promotion   of   religion, atheletics or sports, the Act would result in creation  of  two  classes  of Societies having the  same  object,  but  one  class  is  subjected  to  the discipline of the Act and the other class  exempted  from  it  –  all  other things being equal except the accident of an existing Society  on  the  date

of the Act also happens to be a  Society  registered  under  the  1860  Act. Such an interpretation  which  would  be  in  violation  of  Article  14  is certainly required to be avoided.    There  can  neither  be  any  reasonable basis for such classification  nor  any  purpose  to  be  achieved  by  such classification.  Therefore, the Act is not applicable to TELC at all. Looked at in the abovementioned background of  the  statutory  scheme, we are of the opinion that the entire litigation between the parties  herein is without any basis in  law.  

 It  resulted  in  wastage  of  time  of  the judiciary as well as the administration.  Apparently neither of the  parties nor the administration had the time to examine  or  inclination  to  examine the scheme of the 1975 Act.  We are sorry to say, even the judiciary (Bar  & Bench) did not do any better. In view of our above conclusion, it is really not necessary for us  to

examine various submissions made in this appeal by both the parties  as  all the submissions proceeded on the assumption that TELC is a Society  governed by the provisions of the Act.

 For the above reasons, the appeal  is  allowed.   The  judgment  under appeal is set- aside.  

The second respondent, if he still  has  any  legally tenable grievance de hors the 1975  Act,  is  free  to  pursue  such  remedy to him under the law.=

A Society came to be registered in the year 1919  called  Tamil  Evangelical

Lutheran Church (TELC)=


Tamil  Nadu

Societies Registration Act, 1975 (27 of 1975) (for short “the Act”)

“53. Application of Act to existing  registered  societies.—  Every  society

registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (Central  Act  XXI  of

1860), or  under  any  law  corresponding  to  this  Act  in  force  in  the

transferred territory immediately before the date  of  the  commencement  of

this  Act  including  the   Travancore-Cochin   Literary,   Scientific   and

Charitable Societies Registration Act, 1955 (Travancore-Cochin  Act  XII  of

1955), shall be deemed to be registered under this Act, and the bye-laws  of

such society, shall, in so  far  as  they  are  not  inconsistent  with  any

provision of this Act, continue in force until altered or rescinded.”

=

By G.O. Ms. No.1708 dated 18.12.1981, the  Government  of  Tamil  Nadu

exempted the Society retrospectively from 22.4.1978 from  the  operation  of

Sections 15(4), 25(3) and 29(3) of the Act, the relevant  portion  of  which is extracted hereunder:

“In exercise of powers conferred by Section 54 of  the  Tamilnadu  Societies

Registration Act, 1975 (Tamil Nadu Act 27 of 1975)  the  Governor  of  Tamil

Nadu hereby exempts with retrospective effect from 22.4.1978:
The President or Bishop of the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church alone  from

the provision of sub-section (4) of Section 15 of  the  Tamilnadu  Societies

Registration Act 1975 regarding the period of his term that  it  should  not

exceed more than three years; this exemption will not  apply  to  the  other

members of the church council.
Also exempts the Church from the provision of sub-section (3) of section  25

of the Tamilnadu Societies Registration Act 1975 so as to ratify the  action

of the church in having paid  the  salary  from  out  of  its  fund  to  the

President  or  full  time  workers  of  the  Church  who  come   under   the

classification of “Officers” within the meaning of clause (g) of  section  2

of the said Act.
And also exempts the  church  from  the  provision  of  sub-section  (3)  of

section 29 of the Tamilnadu Societies Registration Act 1975 subject  to  the

condition that necessary provisions are embodied  in  the  bye-laws  of  the

society for the supply of copies of minutes of  the  society’s  meeting  and

Financial  statements  to  the  members  at  specified  intervals,  free  of

charge.”
(emphasis supplied)

=

However, certain  differences  of  opinion

arose between Rt. Rev. Aruldoss and some  of  the  members  of  the  Society

including the first respondent herein.

The  first  respondent  herein  and

others filed complaints dated 3.8.2001  and  28.6.2002  with  the  Inspector

General of Registration praying for cancellation of  the  G.O.  Ms.  No.1708

dated  18.12.1981  etc.   

The  substance  of  the  complaint  was  that  the

President and other office bearers of the Society were continuously  drawing

salaries from the Society’s funds.

Such payments are prohibited  under  the

Act and the G.O. Ms. No.1708 dated 18.12.1981 only ratified  the  action  of

the Society in having paid some amounts till  the  date  of  the  order  but

there  was  no  exemption  enabling  the  Society  to  make  such   payments

subsequent to the date of the said Government order.  

The Inspector  General

of Registration passed an order dated 23.7.2002. =

The first respondent filed Writ Petition No.32494 of  2002  seeking  a

direction  to  the  Government  to  take   appropriate   decision   on   his

representation dated 3.8.2001 seeking  cancellation  of  the  above mentioned

G.O.

The said writ petition was disposed of  by  an  order  dated  7.8.2002

directing the Government to consider  the  petitioner’s  representation  and

pass an appropriate order on merits in accordance with law.=

 Thereafter, another application came to  be  made  by  the  Bishop  on

25.11.2002 seeking complete exemption from the operation  of  Section  25(3)

of the Act praying as follows:

“(1)  to ratify the salary paid to its workers from the date  on  which  the

Government order was passed to this date; and


(2)   to modify the exemption so granted by removing the words:


“… or full time workers of the Church who come under the  classification  of

Officers within the meaning of clauses (g) of Section  2  of  the  Act”  and

substituting with the following words:


“… or any other officer of the Church Society by way of honorarium  for  any

service rendered by him to the Church Society in  future  also  as  per  the

main provisions of the Tamilnadu Registration Act of 1975, Section 25(3)”.”

15.   The first respondent filed another  Writ  Petition  No.45886  of  2002

praying that

 (i) the proceedings of the government dated 8.11.2002  referred

to above be implemented, 

(ii) for a direction to  forbear  the  Bishop  from

functioning as the President of the Society (TELC), 

(iii)  a  direction  for

the recovery of all the amounts that have been paid  to  the  President  and

the officers of the Society (TELC) from out of  the  funds  of  the  Society

from 19.12.1981.  

The writ petition was allowed by order  dated  11.12.2006.

Aggrieved by the same, the Writ Appeal No.481  of  2007  was  filed  by  the

appellants herein unsuccessfully. =

At this stage, we are required to examine the effect  of  Section  53.

No doubt, Section 53 declares that every Society registered under  the  1860

Act shall be deemed to be registered under the  1975  Act.   Question  is  –

whether a Society such  as  TELC  is  required  to  be  treated  as  Society

registered under the Act (1975 Act) in view of the operation of Section  53?



23.   We are of the opinion that such a construction is not  called  for  in

view of the scheme of the Act and more particularly scheme of Section  4  of

the Act.  We have already noticed that Section 4(3) expressly  excludes  the

operation of Section 4(1) and 4(2) thereby relieving  both  the  classes  of

Societies – the Societies formed after coming  into  the  existence  of  the

1975 Act and the Societies which were in existence but not registered  under

any law prior to the commencement of the 1975 Act – covered by Section  4(1)

and 4(2) which have for their object the  promotion  of  religion.   

In  our

opinion,  the  expression  “Societies”  (registered  under  the  1860   Act)

occurring in Section 53 must be understood  to  mean  only  those  Societies

which do not fall under the exemption granted  under  Section  4(3)  of  the

Act.  

Otherwise the operation of the Act would  result  in  such  an  absurd

situation where Societies coming into existence after  the  commencement  of

the Act or unregistered Societies existing on the date of  the  commencement

of the Act are not obliged to register and comply  with  the  discipline  of

the Act but the existing registered Societies on the  date  of  commencement

of the Act are obliged to comply with the regulatory conditions of the  Act,

notwithstanding the fact that the activity of all the  above mentioned  three

classes of the Societies is to  promote  religion.   

Unless  the  expression

“Societies” occurring under Section 53 of the  Act  is  understood  to  mean

Societies  other  than  those  whose  object  is  promotion   of   religion,

atheletics or sports, the Act would result in creation  of  two  classes  of

Societies having the  same  object,  but  one  class  is  subjected  to  the

discipline of the Act and the other class  exempted  from  it  –  all  other

things being equal except the accident of an existing Society  on  the  date

of the Act also happens to be a  Society  registered  under  the  1860  Act.

Such an interpretation  which  would  be  in  violation  of  Article  14  is

certainly required to be avoided.   

There  can  neither  be  any  reasonable

basis for such classification  nor  any  purpose  to  be  achieved  by  such

classification.  Therefore, the Act is not applicable to TELC at all.


24.   Looked at in the abovementioned background of  the  statutory  scheme,

we are of the opinion that the entire litigation between the parties  herein

is without any basis in  law.  

 It  resulted  in  wastage  of  time  of  the

judiciary as well as the administration.  

Apparently neither of the  parties

nor the administration had the time to examine  or  inclination  to  examine

the scheme of the 1975 Act.  

We are sorry to say, even the judiciary (Bar  & Bench) did not do any better.


25.   In view of our above conclusion, it is really not necessary for us  to

examine various submissions made in this appeal by both the parties  as  all

the submissions proceeded on the assumption that TELC is a Society  governed

by the provisions of the Act.


26.   For the above reasons, the appeal  is  allowed.   

The  judgment  under appeal is set- aside.  

The second respondent, if he still  has  any  legally tenable grievance de hors the 1975  Act,  is  free  to  pursue  such  remedy to him under the law.


27.   In the facts and circumstances of the case, there will be no order  as

to costs.

2014 – Sept. Month – http://judis.nic.in/supremecourt/filename=41880  

Reportable
IN THE SUPREME COUR OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION

CIVIL APPEAL NO. 8458 OF 2014
(Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil) No.9592 of 2012)
H.A. Martin & Others …Appellants

Versus

Moses Thambi Pillai & Others …Respondents
J U D G M E N T

Chelameswar, J.
1. Leave granted.

2. Aggrieved by the judgment dated 28.2.2011 of the Division Bench of
the High Court in Writ Appeal No.481 of 2011 the unsuccessful appellants
therein preferred the instant appeal.

3. The appellants are three in number. The first appellant Rt. Rev. Dr.
H.A. Martin is the present Bishop of the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church
(for short “TELC”). The second appellant is shown to be the Treasure.
The details of the person holding such an office are not mentioned
anywhere. The third appellant is the TELC, a body registered under the
Societies Registration Act, 1860 which is not capable either of suing or
being sued[1]. The ‘appellants’ cannot be blamed. The first respondent
herein was the petitioner in the writ petition. He chose his respondents
who became the appellants herein. In an era of public interest
litigation, rules of procedure are the first casualty.

4. The facts giving rise to this litigation are as follows:

A Society came to be registered in the year 1919 called Tamil Evangelical
Lutheran Church (TELC). The objects of the Society are diffusion of
Christian truth among the Tamil speaking people, various kinds of “moral
and social activities, such as, teaching and healing through pastoral
evangelistic, educational works, medical work for the amelioration of the
religious moral and social conditions of all classes of people.”

5. In the year 1975, the State of Tamil Nadu enacted the Tamil Nadu
Societies Registration Act, 1975 (27 of 1975) (for short “the Act”). Under
Section 53 of the Act, every Society registered under the 1860 Act is
deemed to be registered under the Act. Section 53 reads as under:
“53. Application of Act to existing registered societies.— Every society
registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (Central Act XXI of
1860), or under any law corresponding to this Act in force in the
transferred territory immediately before the date of the commencement of
this Act including the Travancore-Cochin Literary, Scientific and
Charitable Societies Registration Act, 1955 (Travancore-Cochin Act XII of
1955), shall be deemed to be registered under this Act, and the bye-laws of
such society, shall, in so far as they are not inconsistent with any
provision of this Act, continue in force until altered or rescinded.”

(emphasis supplied)

6. It appears that an application was made by the earlier Bishop and the
President of the TELC to the Government to exempt the TELC from all the
provisions of the Act retrospectively from 22.4.1978. (Unfortunately, a
copy of the representation is not made available nor any details of the
same are available on record). The Government declined to grant such
blanket exemption and advised the Society to be more specific about the
provisions from the operation of which the Society seeks exemption.

7. Pursuant to the said advice, the Secretary of the Society made
further representation dated 25.7.1981 seeking exemption from the
provisions of Sections 14, 15(3)(4)(5), 25(3), 26(1)(4), 28(1)(2), 29(3)
and 36 of the Act.

8. By G.O. Ms. No.1708 dated 18.12.1981, the Government of Tamil Nadu
exempted the Society retrospectively from 22.4.1978 from the operation of
Sections 15(4), 25(3) and 29(3) of the Act, the relevant portion of which
is extracted hereunder:

“In exercise of powers conferred by Section 54 of the Tamilnadu Societies
Registration Act, 1975 (Tamil Nadu Act 27 of 1975) the Governor of Tamil
Nadu hereby exempts with retrospective effect from 22.4.1978:

The President or Bishop of the Tamil Evangelical Lutheran Church alone from
the provision of sub-section (4) of Section 15 of the Tamilnadu Societies
Registration Act 1975 regarding the period of his term that it should not
exceed more than three years; this exemption will not apply to the other
members of the church council.

Also exempts the Church from the provision of sub-section (3) of section 25
of the Tamilnadu Societies Registration Act 1975 so as to ratify the action
of the church in having paid the salary from out of its fund to the
President or full time workers of the Church who come under the
classification of “Officers” within the meaning of clause (g) of section 2
of the said Act.

And also exempts the church from the provision of sub-section (3) of
section 29 of the Tamilnadu Societies Registration Act 1975 subject to the
condition that necessary provisions are embodied in the bye-laws of the
society for the supply of copies of minutes of the society’s meeting and
Financial statements to the members at specified intervals, free of
charge.”

(emphasis supplied)
9. Not satisfied with the said order, the Secretary of the TELC filed
the Writ Petition No.523 of 1982 seeking declaration that the Act is void
and inapplicable to the TELC and its constituent bodies. The said writ
petition was dismissed by an order dated 20.2.1990, the operative portion
of which reads as under:
“When the writ petition came up for final disposal, learned Government
Pleader would submit that though a counter affidavit had been filed
contending that the aforesaid provision of the Act are valid and are not
violative of constitutional provisions yet the Government would consider
any representation made by the petitioner for grant of exemption in the
light of the decided cases. Having regard to this submission of the
learned Government Pleader while dismissing the writ petition as premature
and not on merits, the petitioner is given a liberty to file a report
before the Government on or before 31.12.1990, pleading for grant of
exemption from such provisions of the Societies Registration Act as the
petitioner may desire and on such representation being made, orders thereon
would be passed by the first respondent on or before 30th April, 1991.

It is of course necessary to state that the Government itself had granted
exemption in favour of the minority institutions from the operation of
certain provisions of the Act like sections 15, 20 and 29. The petitioner
seeks relief in respect of the remaining provisions of the Act which are
mentioned supra.”
10. In the meanwhile the predecessor-in-interest of the first appellant
herein, one Rt. Rev. Aruldoss, was elected as Bishop in terms of the rules
of the Society and by virtue of the rules of the Society he also became the
President of the Society (TELC). However, certain differences of opinion
arose between Rt. Rev. Aruldoss and some of the members of the Society
including the first respondent herein. The first respondent herein and
others filed complaints dated 3.8.2001 and 28.6.2002 with the Inspector
General of Registration praying for cancellation of the G.O. Ms. No.1708
dated 18.12.1981 etc. The substance of the complaint was that the
President and other office bearers of the Society were continuously drawing
salaries from the Society’s funds. Such payments are prohibited under the
Act and the G.O. Ms. No.1708 dated 18.12.1981 only ratified the action of
the Society in having paid some amounts till the date of the order but
there was no exemption enabling the Society to make such payments
subsequent to the date of the said Government order. The Inspector General
of Registration passed an order dated 23.7.2002.

11. It is difficult to state with precision as to what are the contents
of the said order. But, it appears that the Inspector General of
Registration agreed with the complaint.

12. The first respondent filed Writ Petition No.32494 of 2002 seeking a
direction to the Government to take appropriate decision on his
representation dated 3.8.2001 seeking cancellation of the abovementioned
G.O. The said writ petition was disposed of by an order dated 7.8.2002
directing the Government to consider the petitioner’s representation and
pass an appropriate order on merits in accordance with law.

13. Pursuant to the said direction, the Government issued proceedings by
Letter No.(Ms) No.128 dated 8.11.2002, the relevant portion of which reads
as follows:
“(iii) Exemption from Section 25(3) of the Act was granted for
ratifying the action of the Church in having paid the salary from out of
its funds to the President or full time worker of the Church. The
Government only ratified the action of the Society in having paid salary
from 29.4.1978 to the date on which Government order was issued and no
payment has to be made thereafter since the society was not exempted from
the above provision for the future.”

14. Thereafter, another application came to be made by the Bishop on
25.11.2002 seeking complete exemption from the operation of Section 25(3)
of the Act praying as follows:
“(1) to ratify the salary paid to its workers from the date on which the
Government order was passed to this date; and

(2) to modify the exemption so granted by removing the words:

“… or full time workers of the Church who come under the classification of
Officers within the meaning of clauses (g) of Section 2 of the Act” and
substituting with the following words:

“… or any other officer of the Church Society by way of honorarium for any
service rendered by him to the Church Society in future also as per the
main provisions of the Tamilnadu Registration Act of 1975, Section 25(3)”.”
15. The first respondent filed another Writ Petition No.45886 of 2002
praying that (i) the proceedings of the government dated 8.11.2002 referred
to above be implemented, (ii) for a direction to forbear the Bishop from
functioning as the President of the Society (TELC), (iii) a direction for
the recovery of all the amounts that have been paid to the President and
the officers of the Society (TELC) from out of the funds of the Society
from 19.12.1981. The writ petition was allowed by order dated 11.12.2006.
Aggrieved by the same, the Writ Appeal No.481 of 2007 was filed by the
appellants herein unsuccessfully.

16. Before we proceed to examine the correctness of the impugned
judgment, we deem appropriate to examine the scheme of the Act insofar as
it is relevant for the present purpose.

17. Chapter II of the Act deals with the constitution and registration of
the Societies. Section 3[2] stipulates that any Society which has for its
object the promotion of education, literature, science, religion, charity,
social reform, art, crafts etc. may be registered under the Act.
18. Section 4[3] declares that every Society formed on or after the date
of the commencement of the Act, consisting not less than twenty members; or
whose annual gross income or expenditure in any financial year after the
date of the commencement of the Act is not less than ten thousand rupees,
shall be registered under the Act. Section 4(2) stipulates that every
existing Society, NOT registered under the 1860 Act with any one of the
objects specified in Section 3, and which consists of not less than twenty
members or whose annual income or expenditure in any financial year is not
less than ten thousand rupees etc. shall be registered under the Act.
However, sub-section (3) of Section 4 declares that “nothing in this
section shall apply to any Society which has for its object the promotion
of religion, athletics or sports including indoor games”.

19. Chapter III of the Act deals with the management and administration
of the registered Society. Section 15(1)[4] mandates that every registered
Society shall have a committee of not less than three members to manage its
affairs. Section 15(4)[5] limits the tenure of such members of the
Committee for a period of three years from the date of their appointment.

20. Section 25(1)[6] of the Act recognizes the power of the Society to
spend such amount out of its funds as it thinks fit for the purposes
authorised by the Act or the bye-laws of the Society. Section 25(2)
prescribes some restrictions on the expenditure by the Society, the details
of which are not necessary for our purpose. Sub-section (3) which is the
relevant provision for the decision in this case reads as follows:
“Save as provided in sub-section (2), no payment shall be made out of the
funds of a registered society to the president or any other officer of the
society by way of honorarium for any service rendered by him to the
society.”
21. Various provisions of the Act seek to regulate the activities of the
Societies registered under the Act. The expression “registered society” by
definition under Section 2(h) means a Society either registered or deemed
to be registered under the Act. Section 3 of the Act specifies various
classes of Societies which could be registered under the Act i.e. Societies
which have for their object the promotion of education, literature,
science, religion, charity, social reform, art, crafts etc. Section 4(1)
mandates that Societies which came into existence after the commencement of
the Act to be compulsorily registered. Section 4(2) mandates the
registration of some Societies which were in existence as on the date of
existence of the Act. It can be seen from the language of Section 4(2)
that only those existing Societies which were not registered either under
the 1860 Act or under any other law which was in force in the State of
Tamil Nadu prior to the 1975 Act to be compulsorily registered. Such
obligation to compulsorily register (Societies) arising either under
Section 4(1) or Section 4(2) does not extend to Societies whose object is
the promotion of religion. Because under Section 4(3), Societies
established with the object of promoting either religion or atheletics or
sports, are expressly excluded from the obligations even if they answer the
description of a Society referred to, either under Section 4(1) or 4(2).

22. At this stage, we are required to examine the effect of Section 53.
No doubt, Section 53 declares that every Society registered under the 1860
Act shall be deemed to be registered under the 1975 Act. Question is –
whether a Society such as TELC is required to be treated as Society
registered under the Act (1975 Act) in view of the operation of Section 53?
23. We are of the opinion that such a construction is not called for in
view of the scheme of the Act and more particularly scheme of Section 4 of
the Act. We have already noticed that Section 4(3) expressly excludes the
operation of Section 4(1) and 4(2) thereby relieving both the classes of
Societies – the Societies formed after coming into the existence of the
1975 Act and the Societies which were in existence but not registered under
any law prior to the commencement of the 1975 Act – covered by Section 4(1)
and 4(2) which have for their object the promotion of religion. In our
opinion, the expression “Societies” (registered under the 1860 Act)
occurring in Section 53 must be understood to mean only those Societies
which do not fall under the exemption granted under Section 4(3) of the
Act. Otherwise the operation of the Act would result in such an absurd
situation where Societies coming into existence after the commencement of
the Act or unregistered Societies existing on the date of the commencement
of the Act are not obliged to register and comply with the discipline of
the Act but the existing registered Societies on the date of commencement
of the Act are obliged to comply with the regulatory conditions of the Act,
notwithstanding the fact that the activity of all the abovementioned three
classes of the Societies is to promote religion. Unless the expression
“Societies” occurring under Section 53 of the Act is understood to mean
Societies other than those whose object is promotion of religion,
atheletics or sports, the Act would result in creation of two classes of
Societies having the same object, but one class is subjected to the
discipline of the Act and the other class exempted from it – all other
things being equal except the accident of an existing Society on the date
of the Act also happens to be a Society registered under the 1860 Act.
Such an interpretation which would be in violation of Article 14 is
certainly required to be avoided. There can neither be any reasonable
basis for such classification nor any purpose to be achieved by such
classification. Therefore, the Act is not applicable to TELC at all.

24. Looked at in the abovementioned background of the statutory scheme,
we are of the opinion that the entire litigation between the parties herein
is without any basis in law. It resulted in wastage of time of the
judiciary as well as the administration. Apparently neither of the parties
nor the administration had the time to examine or inclination to examine
the scheme of the 1975 Act. We are sorry to say, even the judiciary (Bar &
Bench) did not do any better.

25. In view of our above conclusion, it is really not necessary for us to
examine various submissions made in this appeal by both the parties as all
the submissions proceeded on the assumption that TELC is a Society governed
by the provisions of the Act.

26. For the above reasons, the appeal is allowed. The judgment under
appeal is set- aside. The second respondent, if he still has any legally
tenable grievance de hors the 1975 Act, is free to pursue such remedy
available to him under the law.

27. In the facts and circumstances of the case, there will be no order as
to costs.

………………………….J.
(J.
Chelameswar)
……………………..….J.
(A.K. Sikri)
New Delhi;
September 04, 2014

———————–
[1] Section 6. Suits by and against societies.— Every society registered
under this Act may sue or be sued in the name of President, Chairman, or
Principal Secretary, or trustees, as shall be determined by the rules and
regulations of the society and, in default of such determination, in the
name of such person as shall be appointed by the governing body for the
occasion:
Provided that it shall be competent for any person having a claim, or
demand against the society, to sue the President or Chairman, or Principal
Secretary or the trustees thereof, if on application the governing body
some other officer or person be not nominated to be the defendant.

[2] Section 3 – Societies which may be registered – (1) Subject to the
provisions of sub-section (2), any society which has for its object the
promotion of education, literature, science, religion, charity, social
reform, art, crafts, cottage industries, athletics, sports (including
indoor games), recreation, public health, social service, cultural
activities, the diffusion of useful knowledge or such other useful object
with respect to which the State Legislature has power to make laws for the
State, which may be prescribed, may be registered under this Act.

(2) Notwithstanding anything contained in sub-section (1) no
association which has for its object the improvement of the economic
condition of workmen, no club where games of chance providing prizes for
winners are played and no society which does not consist of at least seven
persons shall be registered under this Act.

[3] Section 4 – Compulsory registration of certain societies – (1)
Subject to the provisions of sub-sections (3) and (4), every society formed
on or after the date of the commencement of this Act, which has for its
object any object mentioned in, or prescribed under section 3, and

which consists of not less than twenty members, or
whose annual gross income or expenditure in any financial year after
the date of the commencement of this Act, is not less than ten thousand
rupees,

shall be registered under this Act within such period as may be
prescribed.

Every society in existence on the date of commencement of this Act,
which has for its object any object mentioned in, or prescribed under
section 3 and which has not been registered under the Societies
Registration Act, 1860 (Central Act XXI of 1860), or under any law
corresponding to this Act in force in the transferred territory immediately
before the date of the commencement of this Act including the Travancore-
Cochin Literary, Scientific and Charitable Socieities Registration Act,
1955 (Travancore-Cochin Act XII of 1955) and

which consists of not less than twenty members; or
whose annual gross income or expenditure in any financial year after
the date of the commencement of this Act, is not less than ten thousand
rupees; or
whose gross income or expenditure in any such period preceding the
date of the commencement of this Act, was not less than such amount, as may
be prescribed, the period so prescribed, bearing to twelve months the same
proportion as the amount so prescribed bears to ten thousand rupees;

shall be registered under this Act within such period as may be
prescribed.

Nothing in this section shall apply to any society which has for its
object the promotion of religion, atheletics or sports (including indoor
games).

Nothing contained in this Act shall be deemed to require the
registration under this Act of any society formed, established, registered
or incorporated under any other law.
[4] Section 15. Committee – (1) Every registered society shall have a
committee of not less than three members to manage its affairs. Every
registered society shall file with the Registrar a copy of the register
maintained by it under sub-section (1) of Section 14 and from time to time,
file with the Registrar notice of any change among the members of the
committee.

[5] Section 15(4) – The term of office of the members of the committee
shall not exceed three years from the date of their appointment.
[6] . Section 25 – Application of funds of a registered society.—(1) A
registered society shall have power to spend out of its funds such sums as
it thinks fit on purposes authorised by this Act or its bye-laws.

———————–
17

Advertisements

About advocatemmmohan

ADVOCATE

Discussion

Comments are closed.

Blog Stats

  • 1,666,491 hits

ADVOCATE MMMOHAN

archieves

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 1,845 other followers

Follow advocatemmmohan on WordPress.com