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UK launches probe into Hindu charity organisation

The Charity Commission said it has “serious regulatory concerns” regarding the management and governance of the organisation, which was registered in 2012. It was the subject of another inquiry in 2017 for failing to submit financial accounts.

world Updated: May 10, 2019 20:57 IST
UK,Hindu charity organisation,Tamil community
Britain’s charity regulator on Friday opened a statutory inquiry in the activities and accounts of the Hindu Community Society, which seeks to advance Hindu religion with particular focus on the Tamil community with origins in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.(AFP)

Britain’s charity regulator on Friday opened a statutory inquiry in the activities and accounts of the Hindu Community Society, which seeks to advance Hindu religion with particular focus on the Tamil community with origins in Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.

The Charity Commission said it has “serious regulatory concerns” regarding the management and governance of the organisation, which was registered in 2012. It was the subject of another inquiry in 2017 for failing to submit financial accounts.

“The charity’s trustees have failed for the sixth consecutive year to submit the charity’s annual financial information on time. Despite repeated reminders from the Commission in relation to its accounts for the financial year end 2016, 2017 and 2018, the trustees remain in continued breach of their legal duties,” the commission said.

The regulator is also concerned over the potential loss of £500,000 of charity funds spent on a leased property, from which the trustees were subsequently evicted, besides concerns about potential private benefit arising from payments made to trustees for employment in the charity.

The commission said its inquiry will examine the extent to which the trustees are complying with their legal duties to administer, govern and manage the charity, and their compliance with legal obligations to prepare and file the charity’s annual financial information.

The inquiry’s mandate includes looking into whether the trustees have avoided or adequately managed potential conflicts of interest, and whether there has been any direct or indirect benefit.

The organisation describes its activities in the commission’s records as a multi-faith centre, seeking to establish and maintain a temple in Coventry, whose purpose, it adds, is to promote the advancement of Hindu religion with “special emphasis on Saivism according to the tradition of Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka”.

First Published: May 10, 2019 20:57 IST