PUNJAB CHARITIES ACT 2018
(Act V of 2018)
[08 March 2018]
An Act to register and regulate charities
and collection of charitable funds.
is necessary to make effective provisions for the registration, administration and regulation of
charities, fund-raising appeals and collection of charitable funds for
charities and other institutions; and, for other purposes.
Be it enacted by the Provincial Assembly of
the Punjab as follows:
1. Short title, extent and commencement.–
(1) This Act may be cited as the Punjab Charities Act 2018.
It extends to whole of the Punjab.
(3) It shall come into force at once.
In this Act:
(a) “Act” means the Punjab Charities
(b) “Assistant Commissioner” means the
executive officer incharge of a Tehsil;
(c) “charitable fund” includes the money
and goods collected for a limited period of time for charitable purpose by a
person or organization not registered as a charity;
(d) “charitable purpose” means the purpose
which is for:
prevention and relief of poverty;
promotion of education and learning;
provision of health and lifesaving services;
promotion of arts, culture and heritage;
promotion of human rights, conflict resolution
and reconciliation activities;
promotion of religious and racial harmony;
promotion of diversity and tolerance;
environmental protection and environmental
relief of those in need of it by reason of youth,
age, ill health, or disability; and
such other purposes as the Commission may
(e) “charity” means any association of
persons which is established for a charitable purpose and
includes the following:
registered under the Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies (Registration and
Control) Ordinance, 1961 (XLVI of 1961);
registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (XXI of 1860);
registered under the Companies Act, 2017 (XIX of 2017) or under any
other law for the time being in force;
registered for charitable purposes under any law for the time being in
public or private trust.
trustee” means the person or persons having the general administration,
control and management of a charity;
or “collection” means appealing for, receiving, collecting or attempting to
collect any donations whether in money or in kind;
means a person actually engaged in collecting donations for a charitable
“Commission” means the Charity Commission established under the Act.
means a declaration made by the charity or promoter of a charitable fund,
the names and
addresses of the charity or promoter or promoters of the fund;
value of the donation;
the names and
addresses of the collectors of the fund;
the names and
addresses of the recipients of the fund;
the objects and
purposes for which the fund shall be utilized;
the names of the
banks or the persons in whose custody the collection shall be kept; and
other prescribed information.
(k) “Deputy Commissioner” means the
executive officer incharge of a district or any
other person appointed by the Government as Deputy Commissioner for purposes
of the Act;
(l) “Government” means Government
of the Punjab;
means prescribed by the rules or regulations made under the Act;
a person, other than a charity, responsible for collection, custody,
administration and accounting of the donations for a charitable fund or a
an individual, institution, association, society or undertaking for whose
benefit a charitable fund is or shall be collected;
authority” means the registering authority mentioned in section 18 of the
authority” means the authority mentioned in section 19 of the Act.
3. The Commission.–
The Commission shall consist of not less than
three and not more than five Commissioners including the Chairperson, as the
Government may determine.
(2) A Commissioner shall be a person who is known
for integrity, expertise, experience and eminence in the field of law,
administration, social work or any other related field.
(3) The Government may
appoint Commissioners from amongst serving or retired civil servants,
retired judges and private sector on such terms and conditions as may be
prescribed and until so prescribed as the Government may determine.
(4) Subject to the
provisions of the Act, the Commission shall discharge its functions,
exercise its powers and conduct its proceedings in the prescribed manner and
until so prescribed in the manner the Commission may determine.
term of the office of a Commissioner shall be two years.
(6) A Commissioner
shall perform such functions as may be prescribed or assigned by the
Chairperson of the Commission.–
(1) The Government shall appoint one of the Commissioners as the
Chairperson of the Commission but a Commissioner shall not be appointed as
Chairperson for more than two consecutive terms.
(2) The Chairperson and
the Commissioners shall be responsible for the due discharge of the mandate
of the Commission.
Government shall, in consultation with the Commission, appoint the Chief
Executive Officer of the Commission on such terms and conditions as may be
prescribed and until so prescribed as the Government may determine.
(2) The Chief Executive
Officer shall be responsible for the day to day administration of the
Commission and shall perform such other functions as may be prescribed or
assigned by the Commission.
of the Commission.–
Commission shall perform such functions as may be necessary for
accomplishing the purposes of the Act.
prejudice to the generality of the foregoing powers, the Commission shall:
trust and confidence in charities;
and the beneficiaries thereof;
charities and promoters comply with their legal obligations in exercising
control and management of the administration of the charitable funds;
advice to the charities and charity trustees;
use of charitable funds;
mechanism for effective monitoring and accountability of charities,
promoters, collectors and recipients;
necessary, an enquiry into the affairs of a charity or charitable fund;
alter or set
aside sanction of collection accorded by a Deputy Commissioner;
examine annual audit report of a charity or charitable fund;
conduct or cause
to be conducted a special audit of a charity or charitable fund;
for proper accounting, management and utilization of a charity or charitable
directions to the Deputy Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners as may be
necessary for the due discharge of the functions under the Act; and
such other related functions as the Government may assign.
7. Power to call for record of charities,
The Commission may call for any record, data or information about a charity,
a charity trustee, the beneficiaries of a charity, a charitable fund and
expenditure on charity by a corporate entity.
(2) The Commission may
seek verification of the financial records from financial institutions and
may utilize the services of a law enforcing agency for the purpose.
8. Power to
appoint charity trustee.–
(1) The Commission may appoint a charity trustee or any officer or
office-bearer of a charity if such charity fails to remove a trustee or
appoint a new trustee or officer where:
a trustee or
officer has been convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude,
dishonesty or deception; or
a trustee has
been adjudged bankrupt; or
conduct of a trustee or officer is detrimental to the cause of the charity
owing to mismanagement or other reasons as may be determined by a court or
(2) The Commission shall provide an
opportunity of defence and hearing to the
charity or the person likely to be affected by the decision of the
The Commission, on its own motion or on receipt of a request from the
Government or a complaint from any person, may hold an enquiry
into the affairs of a charity to ascertain whether
any charitable funds have been misapplied or misappropriated or there is any
breach of trust.
(2) If as a result of enquiry under sub-section
(1), the Commission finds that an offence has been committed under any law
or any trust has been breached, it may move a reference to the Government to
proceed further in accordance with law.
(1) The Commission may, from time to time, employ persons to assist the
Commission in the performance of its functions.
(2) The employees of
the Commission shall be paid such remuneration and allowances and shall hold
their employment on such terms and conditions as may be prescribed.
of advisers, consultants etc.–
The Commission may, with the approval of the Government, employ such
consultants, or technical professionals or advisers as may be necessary for
the due discharge of its functions under the Act, on such terms and
conditions as may be prescribed and until so prescribed, as the Government
to be registered.–
charity shall get itself registered with the Commission not later than such
date as the Government may, by notification, determine.
(2) A charity shall not
collect charitable funds or seek collection of the charitable funds unless
it is registered under the Act.
Government may, after recording reasons, exempt an organization or charity
from the provisions of section 12 of the Act, but an organization which is
not registered as a not-for-profit company shall
not be so exempted.
14. Register of charities.–
(1) The Commission shall maintain a Register of Charities in such manner as
may be prescribed and until so prescribed as the Commission may determine.
(2) The Register shall contain:
name of every registered charity; and
other particulars of, and such other information relating to, every such
charity as may be prescribed or as the Commission may determine.
15. Application for registration.–
(1) Every organization required to be registered
under the Act shall provide to the registering authority the information
regarding the objectives of the charity, the source or sources of income of
the charity and the nature of its spending, and such other documents or
information as may be prescribed.
(2) The Registering Authority may,
for reasons to be recorded in writing, refuse registration of an
organization if in its opinion the objects of charity stated in declaration
are not in consonance with the charitable purpose or for any other
16. Register to be public document.–
(1) The Register of Charities shall be a public document and shall be open
to public inspection at all reasonable times.
(2) A person may obtain copies of
particulars of Register of Charities or documents supplied by a charity
subject to payment of such fee as may be prescribed.
(3) The Commission shall publish on
its website such information in the Register as may be necessary to create
general awareness about the work and conduct of charities.
17. Cancellation of registration.–
Commission may, after affording an opportunity of hearing, suspend or cancel
the registration of a charity if the Commission is satisfied that:
organization or association of persons is not
furthering any charitable purpose; or
charity has committed a serious violation of the provisions of the Act or
18. Registering authority.–
The Commission shall be the registering authority when the operation of a
charity extends to the whole of the Punjab or two
or more districts.
(2) The Deputy Commissioner shall be
the registering authority when the operation of a charity does not extend
beyond the district.
(3) The Assistant Commissioner shall
be the registering authority where the operation of a charity extends only
to a Tehsil.
19. Sanctioning authority.–
(1) The Commission may sanction the collection of charitable funds if the
collection is proposed to be made from the whole of the Punjab or two or
more districts or for a period of more than twelve
(2) Subject to subsection (1):
Deputy Commissioner may sanction the collection of charitable funds if the
collection is to be made from within a district; and
Assistant Commissioner may sanction the collection
of charitable funds if the collection is to be made from within a Tehsil.
20. Prohibition on collection.–
(1) A promoter shall not make or solicit collection for any charitable fund
unless before the start of the collection, he makes a declaration in
respect of the intended collection and delivers the declaration to the
sanctioning authority, and the sanctioning authority sanctions, in writing,
(2) The sanctioning authority may
refuse to sanction the collection under this section if it is not satisfied
with regard to good faith of the promoter or persons proposing to make the
collection, or if the authority is not satisfied with regard to the proper
custody of the fund or the due administration of the fund for the purpose
for which it is to be collected.
(3) The sanctioning authority may
sanction the collection subject to such conditions as it may consider
necessary for ensuring the proper custody of the fund and its due
administration and utilization for the objects and purposes of the
(4) If the sanctioning authority
sanctions the collection, it shall issue or cause to be issued a certificate
for a specified period, to the promoter in such form and manner as the
Commission may, by regulations, prescribe, authorizing him to make the
collection through identified collectors and for identified recipients.
(5) The Deputy Commissioner may alter
or set aside a sanction of collection accorded by an Assistant Commissioner
in the district.
21. Powers of sanctioning authority.–
The sanctioning authority may, at any time, for sufficient reasons and after
affording opportunity of hearing, cancel or alter any order made or
direction given by it under the Act .
22. Residuary powers of the Commission.–
The Commission may issue such directions to the
Deputy Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners as may be necessary for
achieving the objectives of the Act.
23. Periodic evaluation of charities.–
Commission shall undertake a periodic evaluation of the charities to review
the performance of the charity trustees under the
24. Administrative actions.–
If, after evaluation or audit, the Commission is satisfied that any charity
has failed to comply with the obligations envisaged under the Act, the
or cancel the registration of that charity under the Act; and
fine, not exceeding one million rupees, on the charity or organization.
(2) The Commission shall not take any
action under sub-section (1) unless the charity or organization is afforded
a reasonable opportunity of hearing and showing cause against the proposed
Commission shall, from time to time, publish reports, highlighting the areas
of operations carried out by the Commission and other administrative
actions taken during the period under report.
26. Obligations of charity trustees.–
A charity trustee shall:
with the terms and conditions of the governing instrument which envisages
the establishment of the charity trustee with the relevant
with the other charities operating in the respective domain for purposes of
consolidated efforts at achieving the objectives and targets under the Act;
inform the Commission about any change in the constituent
document of the charity.
responsibilities of charity trustees.–
trustee shall be responsible for:
(a) controlling the assets of the charity;
(b) protection, proper investment and
utilization of the charitable fund;
(c) ensuring that the charitable funds are
not used for any purpose other than the declared purpose;
(d) ensuring that the charitable funds or
property is not misused or allowed to go waste as a result of mismanagement
or for any other reasons;
(e) the sale, lease or other disposal of
the charity property and insurance of the charity property; and
(f) ensuring that no unnecessary
encumbrances are created on the charity property.
28. Accounting records of a charity.–
(1) The charity trustees shall ensure that
accurate accounting records are maintained in respect of the charity.
(2) The accounting records shall
mention all the transactions of the charity and shall also reflect on the
financial position of the charity.
(3) The accounting records shall in
pertaining to all sums of money received and expended by the charity each
in respect of which the receipt and expenditure takes place; and
details of assets and liabilities of the charity.
(4) The charity trustees shall
preserve the accounting records for such period as may be prescribed.
(5) The charity trustee shall prepare
annual statement of accounts.
(6) If the amount given to a charity
in a calendar month exceeds fifty thousand rupees, the charity shall deposit
the amount in a dedicated bank account and shall provide information of the
bank account to the sanctioning authority or the registering authority, as
the case may be.
29. Accounting of charitable funds.–
charity trustees shall ensure that accounting
records of a charitable fund are maintained as required under section 28.
30. Audit and Inspection.–
The Commissioner or the sanctioning authority may, for reasons to be
recorded, direct that the accounts of a charity shall be audited
or re-audited by a specified auditor at the expense of the charity or the
person who has applied for the special audit of the charity.
The Commission or sanctioning authority may
inspect or cause to be inspected any accounts maintained under the
Act or the rules.
31. Misapplication of funds.–
(1) A charity, promoter, collector or recipient of a charitable fund shall
not use the fund for any purpose or object other than the purpose or object
for which it was collected except with the prior permission
of the Commission.
(2) A person authorized to hold
charitable fund shall not transfer the custody of the charitable fund to any
other person except with the prior approval in writing of the Commission or
the sanctioning authority.
(3) If any part of any donations
collected for any charitable fund is used for any purpose or object other
than that for which it was collected, or is otherwise misapplied or
misappropriated in any manner, every person concerned with the collection or
administration of the fund, whether as a promoter, collector or a recipient,
shall unless he proves that the misuse, misapplication or misappropriation
occurred without his knowledge and that he had used all due diligence to
prevent such misuse, misapplication or misappropriation, shall be deemed to
have committed the misuse, misapplication or misappropriation of the
(1) Any person who dishonestly or fraudulently tampers with, conceals or
destroys any records pertaining to the collection of any charitable
fund to which the Act applies shall be deemed to have contravened the Act.
(2) A person who contravenes any
provision of the Act or the rules or of any order made, direction given or
condition imposed under the Act shall be liable to punishment of
imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months but which shall not
be less than fifteen days and fine which shall not be less than twenty five
thousand rupees or more than one hundred thousand rupees.
33. Cognizance and summary trial.–
(1) An offence under the Act shall be cognizable
(2) A Magistrate of the first class
shall conduct the trial of an offence under the Act in accordance with the
provisions of Chapter
of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (V
relating to the summary trials.
34. Compounding of offence.–
(1) Subject to subsection (2), the Commission or any person specifically
authorized in this behalf by the Commission may, at any stage, compound an
offence under the Act subject to the deposit of administrative
penalty which shall not be less than twenty five thousand rupees.
(2) The offence under the Act shall
not be compoundable if the accused had been previously convicted under the
Act or his previous offence had been compounded by the Commission or the
officer authorized by the Commission.
A court trying an offence under the Act may order the confiscation or
recovery of any fund wrongfully collected or misapplied by any person in
contravention of the Act.
(1) Any person aggrieved by an order or direction
of the Commission, may within thirty days of the order, prefer an appeal to
the Appellate Committee.
(2) The Government shall, by
notification, constitute the Appellate Committee consisting of the
Chairperson and such members as it may determine.
(3) The Committee shall perform its
functions in the prescribed manner and until so prescribed, the Committee
shall regulate its own procedure.
37. Application of other laws.–
The provisions of the Act shall be in addition to
and not in derogation from any other law.
(1) The Government may, by notification, make rules to carry out the
purposes of the Act.
(2) Without prejudice to the
generality of the foregoing powers, the rules may provide for:
form and contents of declarations and the verification of statements made in
period for which declarations shall remain in force and the manner in which
the period may be extended or terminated;
form and manner in which receipts for donations may be given and the
maintenance of proper vouchers for purposes of the accounts;
maintenance of proper books of account and the auditing of the accounts;
periodical submission of statements of accounts;
supervision, inspection and examination of accounts; and
payment of charges for forms of declarations and certificates.
Subject to the Act and the rules, the Commission may, by notification, frame
regulations to give effect to the provisions of the Act.
No prosecution, suit or other legal proceedings shall be instituted against
any person in respect of anything which is, in good faith, done or intended
to be done under the Act.
41. Revision.– Subject to section 36, the Government may, at any
time, on its own motion or on the application of any aggrieved person,
revise any decision or direction of the Commission and pass such order in
accordance with the Act as it may deem proper.
42. Repeal and savings.–
(1) The Charitable Funds (Regulation of Collections) Act, 1953 (XXXI of
1953) is hereby repealed.
(2) Notwithstanding the repeal of the
Charitable Funds (Regulation of Collections) Act, 1953 (XXXI of 1953),
anything done or action taken under the repealed Act, shall have the effect
as if the thing is done or action is taken under the Act.
The Punjab Charities Ordinance 2018 (I of 2018) is hereby repealed.