FCRA donation & return of NGO officer under Lokpal and Lokayuktas Act of 2013

The Lokpal & Lokayuktas Act of 2013 stated that ‘any person who is or has been a director, manager, secretary or other officer of every other society or association of persons or trust … in receipt of any donation from any foreign source under the FCRA 2010 in excess of one million rupees in a year’ will be deemed to be a public servant.

The NGOs also questioned the categorization of their officers as public servants, stating the courts have normally held that in order to be a public servant, the person should have discretionary authority, be appointed, be subject to dismissal, be remunerated and be subordinate to an authority. They said in the case of board members, none of these conditions apply as they do not have discretionary authority, they are not appointed but elected, they can be removed, they do not get any remuneration and they are not subordinate to any authority.

Many people are thinking to quit the boards of NGOs, and some have already done so. But the smart drafters of the Act had covered this – if you were connected with the NGO when the money was received, you will be required to continue filing these declarations of assets until this money has been spent. And if this FCRA or government grant was used to fund a #corpus, you have to continue filing until you die. So resignation wouldn’t help.

NGOlaw, NonprofitLaw,  AntiCorruptionLaw,  Transparency