A society is an association of persons joined together by mutual consent to deliberate, determine and act jointly for some common purpose. Societies are usually registered for promotion of charitable activities like education, art, religion, culture, music, sports, etc., In India,
According to section 20 of the Societies Registration Act, 1860, the following societies can be registered under the Act: ‘charitable societies, military orphan funds or societies established at the several presidencies of India, societies established for the promotion of science, literature, or the fine arts, for instruction, the diffusion of useful knowledge, the diffusion of political education, the foundation or maintenance of libraries or reading rooms for general use among the members or open to the public, or public museums and galleries of paintings and other works of art, collection of natural history, mechanical and philosophical inventions, instruments or designs.’
Legislation : Societies are registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860, which is a federal act. In certain states, which have a charity commissioner, the society must not only be registered under the Societies Registration Act, but also, additionally, under the Bombay Public Trusts Act.
Main Instrument : The main instrument of any society is the memorandum of association and rules and regulations , wherein the aims and objects and mode of management (of the society) should be enshrined.
Trustees : A Society needs a minimum of seven managing committee members; there is no upper limit to the number managing committee members. The Board of Management is in the form of a governing body or council or a managing or executive committee
Application for Registration : Registration can be done either at the state level (i.e., in the office of the Registrar of Societies) or at the district level (in the office of the District Magistrate or the local office of the Registrar of Societies).
The procedure varies from state to state. However generally the application should be submitted together with:
(a) memorandum of association and rules and regulations;
(b) consent letters of all the members of the managing committee;
(c) authority letter duly signed by all the members of the managing committee;
(d) an affidavit sworn by the president or secretary of the society on non-judicial stamp paper, together with a court fee stamp; and
(e) a declaration by the members of the managing committee that the funds of the society will be used only for the purpose of furthering the aims and objects of the society.
All the aforesaid documents which are required for the application for registration should be submitted in duplicate, together with the required registration fee. Unlike the trust deed, the memorandum of association and rules and regulations need not be executed on stamp paper.
Points to be kept in mind while forming a society:-
(i) The Emblems Act,1950 prohibits the use of any name, emblems, official seal etc. as specified in the Act without previous permission of competent authority. It also prohibits the use of the name of national heroes and other names etc. mentioned in the Act. The Societies intending to seek registration are advised to consult this Act also before proposing the name etc. for registration.
(ii) If the proposed name is identical with that by which any other society has been registered or resembles such name which is likely to deceive the public or the member of society, such name may be avoided. Names of all the registered Societies have been put on the website of Industries Department [industries.delhi govt.nic.in] to enable the public and prospective applicants to check the availability of names.
(iii) The Memorandum of Association shall contain the following details e.g.:-
• The name of the society;
• The objects of the society;
• The names, addresses, and occupations of the governors, council, directors, committee, or other governing body to whom by the rules of the society, the management of its affairs is entrusted.
(iv) A copy of the rules and regulations of the society, certified to be a correct copy by not less than three of the members of the governing body, shall be filed with the memorandum of association
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