HC tells states to identify NGOs, firms with misleading names
The Punjab and Haryana high court has directed Punjab and Haryana governments to conduct a survey and prepare a list of all non-governmental organisations (NGOs)/private companies whose names are similar to those of government organisations, so as to save people from fraud.
The directions came from the division bench headed by chief justice Sanjay Kishan Kaul in a case in which the petitioner had sought directions that the registrar of societies in Punjab and Haryana be directed to review the registration of all societies whose names resemble those of government organisations.
The court also directed Delhi-based trust Rashtriya Sarv Shiksha Abhiyan, whose name is similar to that of a government organisation, to deposit the amount collected by it from its franchisee, "Rashtree Sarv Sikhiya Abhiyan", headed by Sikandar Singh of SAS Nagar, who had illegally collected the money from unemployed persons of Punjab for providing them jobs.
The court was also informed during the hearing of the case that the SAS Nagar police had registered an FIR against Sikandar for committing fraud on unemployed persons. However, the trust's counsel informed the court that it had collected Rs 42.26 lakh from Sikandar for conducting an examination, but it could not be conducted. He informed the court that the trust had refunded Rs 9.58 lakh to 3,833 candidates till date.
On this, the court directed the police to take further action against the trust, including custodial interrogation of its trustees, in pursuance of the FIR registered against Sikandar, if the trust does not deposit the balance amount of about Rs 33 lakh with the high court within two weeks.
However, the counsel for Panchkula-based "Sarv Saksharta Computer Education Abhiyan" informed the court that the organisation had issued cheques for refund of application fee to 11,272 candidates, of which cheques worth about Rs 10 lakh were yet to be encashed. The court directed the organisation to file a status report regarding the refund of amount to the candidates on the next date of hearing, August 23.