THE SOCIETIES REGISTRATION ACT, 1860
(Act XXI of 1860)
1. Societies formed by memorandum of association and registration.
2. Memorandum of association.
3. Registration fee.
4. Annual list of managing body to be filed.
5. Property of society how vested.
6. Suits by and against societies.
7. Suits not to abate.
8. Enforcement of judgment against society.
9. Recovery of penalty accruing under bye-law.
10. Members liable to be sued as strangers
Recovery by successful defendant of costs adjudged.
11. Members guilty of offences punishable as strangers.
12. Societies enabled to alter, extend or
abridge their purposes.
13. Provision for dissolution of societies and adjustment of their affairs
14. Upon a dissolution no member to receive profit
Clause not to apply to joint-stock companies.
15. Member defined − Disqualified members.
16. Governing body defined.
16-A. Supersession of governing body of a society.
17. Registration of societies formed before Act − Assent required.
18. Such societies to file memorandum, etc., with Registrar of Joint-stock Companies.
19. Inspection of documents − Certified copies
20. To what societies Act applies.
21. Registration of Deeni Madrassah.
REGISTRATION ACT, 1860
(Act XXI of
[21 May 1860]
An Act for the Registration of Literary,
Scientific and Charitable Societies
Preamble.− WHEREAS it is expedient that provision should be
made for improving the legal condition of societies established for the
promotion of literature, science, or the fine arts, or for the diffusion of
useful knowledge, [the diffusion of political education] or for
charitable purposes; it is enacted as follows:-
formed by memorandum of association and registration.− Any seven or more persons associated for any
literary, scientific or charitable purpose, or for any such purpose as is
described in section 20 of this Act, may by subscribing their names to a
memorandum of association and filing the same with the Registrar of Joint-stock
Companies [* * *] form themselves into a society under this
2. Memorandum of association.− The memorandum of association shall contain the following things (that is to say)−
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.
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.
[3. Registration fee.− Upon such memorandum and certified copy being
filed, the Registrar shall certify under his hand that the Society is
registered under this Act. There shall be paid to the Registrar for every such
registration such fee as the Provincial Government may direct, and all fees so
paid shall be accounted for to the Provincial Government.]
4. Annual list of managing body to be
filed.− Once in every year, on or before the fourteenth day succeeding the day
on which, according to the rules of the society, the annual general meeting of
the society is held, or, if the rules do not provide for an annual general
meeting, in the month of January, a list shall be filed with the Registrar of
Joint-stock Companies of the names, addresses and occupations of the governors,
council, directors, committee or other governing body then entrusted with the
management of the affairs of the society.
5. Property of society how vested.− The property, movable and immovable, belonging to a society registered under this Act, if not vested in trustees, shall be deemed to be vested, for the time being, in the governing body of such society, and in all proceedings, civil and criminal, may be described as the property of the governing body of such society by their proper title.
6. Suits by and against
societies.− Every society
registered under this Act may sue or be sued in the name of the president,
chairman, or principal secretary, or trustees, as shall be determined by the
rules and regulations of the society, and, in default of such determination, in
the name of such person as shall be appointed by the governing body for the
Provided that it shall be competent for
any person having a claim or demand against the society, to sue the president
or chairman, or principal secretary or the trustees thereof, if on application
to the governing body some other officer or person be not nominated to be the
7. Suits not to abate.− No suit or proceeding in any Civil Court shall abate or discontinue by reason of the person by or against whom such suit or proceedings shall have been brought or continued, dying or ceasing to fill the character in the name whereof he shall have sued or been sued, but the same suit or proceedings shall be continued in the name of or against the successor of such person.
8. Enforcement of judgment against society.− If a judgment shall be recovered against the person or officer named on behalf of the society, such judgment shall not be put in force against the property, movable or immovable, or against the body of such person or officer, but against the property of the society.
The application for execution shall set forth the judgment, the fact of the party against whom it shall have been recovered having sued or having been sued, as the case may be, on behalf of the society only, and shall require to have the judgment enforced against the property of the society.
9. Recovery of penalty accruing under bye-law.− Whenever by any bye-law duly made in
accordance with the rules and regulations of the society, or, if the rules do
not provide for the making of bye-laws, by any bye-law made at a general
meeting of the members of the society convened for the purpose (for the making
of which the concurrent votes of three-fifths of the members present at such
meeting shall be necessary), any pecuniary penalty is imposed for the breach of
any rule or bye-law of the society, such penalty, when accrued, may be recovered
in any Court having jurisdiction where the defendant shall reside, or the
society shall be situate, as the governing body thereof shall deem expedient.
10. Members liable to be sued as strangers – Recovery by successful defendant of costs adjudged.− Any member who may be in arrear of a subscription which, according to the rules of the society he is bound to pay, or who shall possess himself of or detain any property of the society in a manner or for a time contrary to such rules, or shall injure or destroy any property of the society, may be sued for such arrear or for the damage accruing from such detention, injury or destruction of property in the manner hereinbefore provided.
But if the defendant shall be successful in any suit or other proceeding brought against him at the instance of the society, and shall be adjudged to recover his costs, he may elect to proceed to recover the same from the officer in whose name the suit shall be brought, or from the society, and in the latter case shall have process against the property of the said society in the manner above described.
11. Members guilty of offences punishable as
strangers.− Any member of
the society who shall steal, purloin or embezzle any money or other property,
or willfully and maliciously destroy or injure any property of such society, or
shall forge any deed, bond, security for money, receipt, or other instrument,
whereby the funds of the society may be exposed to loss, shall be subject to
the same prosecution, and, if convicted, shall be liable to be punished in like
manner as any person not a member would be subject and liable to in respect of
the like offence.
12. Societies enabled to alter, extend or abridge
their purposes.− Whenever
it shall appear to the governing body of any society registered under this Act,
which has been established for any particular purpose or purposes, that it is
advisable to alter, extend or abridge such purpose to or for other purposes
within the meaning of this Act, or to amalgamate such society either wholly or
partially with any other society, such governing body may submit the
proposition to the members of the society in a written or printed report and
may convene a special meeting for the consideration thereof according to the
regulations of the society.
But no such proposition shall be carried
into effect unless such report shall have been delivered or sent by post to
every member of the society ten days previous to the special meeting convened
by the governing body for the consideration thereof, nor unless such
proposition shall have been agreed to by the votes of three-fifths of the
members delivered in person or by proxy, and confirmed by the votes of
three-fifths of the members present at a second special meeting convened by the
governing body at an interval of one month after the former meeting.
13. Provision for
dissolution of societies and adjustment of their affairs − Assent
required − Government consent.− Any number not less than three-fifths of the
members of any society may determine that it shall be dissolved, and thereupon
it shall be dissolved forthwith, or at the time then agreed upon, and all
necessary steps shall be taken for the disposal and settlement of the property
of the society, its claims and liabilities, according to the rules of the said
society applicable thereto, if any, and, if not, then as the governing body
shall find expedient, provided that, in the event of any dispute arising among
the said governing body or the members of the society, the adjustment of its
affairs shall be referred to the principal Court of original civil jurisdiction
of the district in which the chief building of the society is situate; and the
Court shall make such order in the matter as it shall deem requisite:
Provided that no society shall be dissolved unless three-fifths of the members shall have expressed a wish for such dissolution by their votes delivered in person, or by proxy, at a general meeting convened for the purpose:
Provided that [whenever any Government] is a member of or a
contributor to, or otherwise interested in, any society registered under this
Act, such society shall not be dissolved [without the consent of the Government of the
Province of registration].
14. Upon a dissolution no member to receive profit − Clause not to apply to joint-stock companies.− If upon the dissolution of any society registered under this Act there shall remain after the satisfaction of all its debts and liabilities any property whatsoever, the same shall not be paid to or distributed among the members of the said society or any of them, but shall be given to some other society, to be determined by the votes of not less than three-fifths of the members present personally or by proxy at the time of dissolution, or in default thereof, by such Court as aforesaid:
Provided, however, that this clause shall not apply to any society which shall have been founded or established by the contributions of shareholders in the nature of a Joint-stock Company.
15. Member defined − Disqualified
members.− For the purposes
of this Act a member of a society shall be a person who, having been admitted
therein according to the rules and regulations thereof, shall have paid a
subscription or shall have signed the roll or list of members thereof, and
shall not have resigned in accordance with such rules and regulations; but in
all proceedings under this Act no person shall be entitled to vote or to be
counted as a member whose subscription at the time shall have been in arrear
for a period exceeding three months.
16. Governing body defined.− The governing body of the society shall be the governors, council, directors, committee, trustees or other body to whom by the rules and regulations of the society the management of its affairs is entrusted.
[16-A. Supersession of governing body of a society.− (1) Notwithstanding anything contained in the memorandum of association, rules or regulations of a society registered under this Act, if, after such inquiry as may be necessary, the Provincial Government is of the opinion that the governing body of the society−
(a) is unable to discharge or persistently fails in discharging its duties, or
(b) is unable to administer its affairs or meet its financial
(c) generally acts in a manner contrary to public interest or the interests of the members of the society,
the Provincial Government may, by notification in the Official Gazette, declare the governing body to be superseded for such period, not exceeding one year, as may be specified in the notification.
[Provided that the declaration shall not be made without giving to the society to be affected thereby an opportunity of being heard.]
(2) On the publication of a notification under sub-section (1),−
(a) the office-bearers and other members of the governing body shall cease to hold office; and
(b) all functions of the governing body shall, during the period of supersession, be performed by a governing body constituted by the Provincial Government from among the members of the society.
(3) On the expiry of the period of supersession, the governing body of the society shall be reconstituted in accordance with its memorandum of association, rules and regulations.]
17. Registration of societies formed before Act
− Assent required.−
Any company or society established for a literary, scientific or charitable
purpose, and registered under Act XLIII of 1850, or any such society
established and constituted previously to the passing of this Act but not
registered under the said Act XLIII of 1850, may at any time hereafter be
registered as a society under this Act; subject to the proviso that no such
company or society shall be registered under this Act unless an assent to its
being so registered has been given by three-fifths of the members present
personally, or by proxy, at some general meeting convened for that purpose by
the governing body.
In the case of a company or society registered under Act XLIII of 1850, the directors shall be deemed to be such governing body.
In the case of a society not so registered, if no such body shall have been constituted on the establishment of the society, it shall be competent for the members thereof, upon due notice, to create for itself a governing body to act for the society thenceforth.
18. Such societies to file memorandum, etc., with Registrar of Joint-Stock Companies.− In order to any such society as is mentioned in the last preceding section obtaining registry under this Act, it shall be sufficient that the governing body file with the Registrar of Joint-stock Companies [* * *] a memorandum showing the name of the society, the objects of the society, and the names, addresses and occupations of the governing body, together with a copy of the rules and regulations of the society certified as provided in section 2, and a copy of the report of the proceedings of the general meeting at which the registration was resolved on.
19. Inspection of documents − Certified Copies.− Any person may inspect all documents filed with the registrar under this Act on payment of a fee of one rupee for each inspection, and any person may require a copy or extract of any document or any part of any document, to be certified by the registrar, on payment of two annas for every hundred words of such copy or extract; and such certified copy shall be prima facie evidence of the matters therein contained in all legal proceedings whatever.
20. To what societies Act applies.− The following societies may be registered under this Act:-
Charitable societies, [* * *] 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 painting
and other works of art, collections of natural history, mechanical and
philosophical inventions, instruments, or designs.
[21. Registration of
Deeni Madaris.– (1) All Deeni Madaris, by
whatsoever name called, shall not operate without getting themselves
Provided that the Deeni Madaris, which are
established after the commencement of this Act, shall get themselves registered
within one year of their establishment.
Explanation. One Deeni Madrassah, having more than one campus, shall need only one registration.
(2) Every Deeni Madrassah shall submit annual report of its educational activities to the Registrar.
(3) Every Deeni Madrassah shall cause to be carried out audit of its accounts by an auditor and submit a copy of its audit report to the Registrar.
(4) No Deeni Madrassah shall teach or publish any literature which promotes militancy or spreads sectarianism or religious hatred:
that nothing contained herein shall bar the comparative study of various
religions or schools of thought or the study of any other subject covered by
the Holy Quran, Sunnah or the Islamic jurisprudence.
In this section “Deeni Madrassah” means a religious institution and includes a
Jamia, Dar-ul-Uloom, School, College, University or called by any other name,
established or operated primarily for the purposes of imparting religious
education, which provides boarding and lodging facilities.]
Short title given by the Short Titles Act, 1897 (14 of 1897).
Short title given by the
Short Titles Act, 1897 (14 of 1897).
(with the exception of the first four sections) is based on Literary and
Scientific Institutions Act, 1854.
It had been declared to be in force in all the Provinces and the Capital of the Federation, except the Scheduled Districts, by s. 3 of the Laws Local Extent Act, 1874 (15 of 1874).
It had been declared by Notification under
s. 3 (a) of the Scheduled Districts Act, 1874 (14 of 1874), to be in force in
the Scheduled Districts; namely − Hazara,
Added by the Societies
Registration (Amendment) Act, 1927 (XXII of 1927).
words and figures “under Act 19 of 1857” repealed by the Repealing Act, 1874
(16 of 1874).
Substituted by the
Substituted by the Government
for “without the consent of Government.”
Added by the Societies
Registration (West Pakistan Amendment) Ordinance, 1962 (IX of 1962), and
substituted by the Conformity with Fundamental Rights (Punjab Amendment of
Laws) Act, 1976 (IX of 1976).
Added by the Societies
Registration (Amendment) Ordinance, 1984 (XV of 1984).
Subsequently replaced by the
Indian Companies Act, 1866 (10 of 1866), section 219.
words and figures “under Act 19 of 1857,” repealed by the Repealing Act, 1874
(16 of 1874).
The words “the military orphan
funds or societies established at the several presidencies of
Inserted by the Societies
Registration (Amendment) Act, 1927 (22 of 1927).
Inserted by the Societies
Registration (Amendment) Act 2005 (XIII of 2005) and substituted by the
Societies Registration (Amendment) Act 2006 (VII of 2006).