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August 27, 2015

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SC seeks data of charity organisations

SC seeks data of charity organisations
ISLAMABAD: The Supreme Court on Wednesday observed that without monitoring charity organisations operating in the country and collecting funds, the objective of the National Action Plan could not be achieved.
A three-member bench of the apex court, headed by Chief Justice Jawwad S Khawaja and comprising Justice Dost Muhammad Khan and Justice Qazi Faez Isa, resumed hearing in the case of the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) and their source of funding.
The court directed the federal government and four provincial governments to compile data pertaining to charity organisations collecting charities besides directing for formulating the procedure for monitoring these organisations.
The court directed secretary Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan to extend cooperation to the provinces and submit a comprehensive report in a week.
The court observed that without monitoring the charity organisations in the country, the objective of the National Action Plan could not be achieved.
During the course of hearing, law officers of the four provinces, Secretary Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan Sarwar Khan and Deputy Attorney General Sajid Ilyas Bhatti appeared before the court.
The court observed that it was ready to face criticism but if the government will not its work in dealing with sensitive issues, then the court will intervene.
The court also observed that after it took notice of this serious issue, there has been some progress but still a lot has to be done on monitoring of local and foreign NGOs and it is the responsibility of the government to take drastic and practical steps for addressing the issue.
During the hearing, Advocate General Balochistan Ayyaz Swati submitted a report.
Chief Justice Jawwad S Khawaja observed that the country is fighting against terrorism, therefore, the government should monitor the local and foreign NGOs and should ascertain their source of funding.
Justice Dost Muhammad Khan observed that the government should make scrutiny of NGOs before registering them.
The court asked Sarwar Khan, Secretary Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan, as to whether there was any mechanism adopted by the government for monitoring the charity organisations collecting funds.
Deputy Attorney General Sajid Ilyas Bhatti told the court that transactions of NGOs funding was being made through banks. However, he said that no procedure is available for checking the local charity organisations and no record is available in this regard.
Chief Justice Jawwad S Khawaja observed that any work that is done without maintaining record could create problems. Additional Advocate General Punjab Razaq A Mirza submitted that there should be a unified law for both the federal and provincial governments in this regard.
The chief justice remarked if the court was to make the law, it could do in a day but legislation is the job of the government.
Justice Qazi Faez Isa, another member of the bench, observed that people who pay taxes are facing problems while the government is least bothered to take action against those who don’t pay.
The court observed that the government did not take action against the organisations lacking record.
The court directed that both the federal and provincial governments compile a data of those charity organisations collecting charities in the country and submit a report within a week.
During the hearing when the court asked about an NGO namely Barran and its source of funding, Additional Advocate General KPK Mian Arshad Khan told the court that it was heard that the World Health Organization (WHO) is the main source of funding of Baraan.
Justice Dost Muhammad Khan observed that the provincial government can verify it through diplomatic sources as to whether WHO is funding the NGO or some other countries.
The chief justice observed that the infamous NGO spent Rs30 million but nobody knows about the utilisation of this funding. Meanwhile, the court adjourned the hearing for a week.

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