CHARITIES ACT 2018
(Act V of 2018)
[08 March 2018]
An Act to register and regulate charities and
collection of charitable funds.
It 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
1. Short title, extent and commencement.– (1) This Act may be cited as the Punjab Charities Act
(2) It extends to whole of the Punjab.
(3) It shall come into force at once.
2. Definitions.– In this Act:
(a) “Act” means the Punjab Charities Act
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:
(i) prevention and relief of poverty;
(ii) promotion of education and learning;
(iii) provision of health and lifesaving services;
(iv) community development;
(v) promotion of arts, culture and heritage;
(vi) promotion of human rights, conflict resolution and
(vii) promotion of religious and racial harmony;
(viii) promotion of diversity and tolerance;
(ix) environmental protection and environmental improvement;
(x) relief of those in need of it by reason of youth, age, ill
health, or disability; and
(xi) such other purposes as the Commission may determine.
(e) “charity” means any association of persons which is established for
a charitable purpose and includes the following:
an organization registered under
the Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies (Registration and Control) Ordinance,
1961 (XLVI of 1961);
an organization registered under
the Societies Registration Act, 1860 (XXI
an organization registered under
the Companies Act, 2017 (XIX of 2017)
or under any other law for the time being in force;
an organization registered for
charitable purposes under any law for the time being in force; and
a public or
trustee” means the person or persons having the general administration, control
and management of a charity;
(g) “collect” 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
(i) “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;
the proposed value of the
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
(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
means Government of the Punjab;
“prescribed” means prescribed by the rules or
regulations made under the Act;
“promoter” means a person, other
than a charity, responsible for collection, custody, administration and
accounting of the donations for a charitable fund or a charitable purpose;
“recipient” means an individual,
institution, association, society or undertaking for whose benefit a charitable
fund is or shall be collected;
“registering authority” means the
registering authority mentioned in section 18 of the Act; and
authority” means the authority mentioned in section 19 of the Act.
3. The Commission.– (1)
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
(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 Commission.
4. 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.
5. Chief Executive Officer.– (1) The
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
6. Functions of the Commission.– (1) The
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:
maintain public trust and
confidence in charities;
protect charities and the
ensure that charities and
promoters comply with their legal obligations in exercising control and
management of the administration of the charitable funds;
issue necessary advice to the
charities and charity trustees;
ensure effective use of
institute a mechanism for
effective monitoring and accountability of charities, promoters, collectors and
hold, if necessary, an enquiry
into the affairs of a charity or charitable fund;
alter or set aside sanction of
collection accorded by a Deputy Commissioner;
receive and 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;
issue guidelines for proper
accounting, management and utilization of a charity or charitable fund;
such directions to the Deputy Commissioners and Assistant Commissioners as may
be necessary for the due discharge of the functions under the Act; and
perform such other
related functions as the Government may assign.
7. Power to call for record of charities, etc.– (1)
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
a trustee or officer has been
convicted of an offence involving moral turpitude, dishonesty or deception; or
a trustee has been adjudged
the 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 the Commission.
(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
9. Enquiry.– (1)
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
(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.
10. Employees.– (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.
11. Appointment 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 may determine.
12. Charities to be registered.– (1) Every
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
13. Exemption.– The
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
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:
(a) the name of every registered charity; and
(b) such 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 reasonable cause.
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
(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
17. Cancellation of registration.– The Commission may, after affording an opportunity of
hearing, suspend or cancel the registration of a charity if the Commission is
(a) the 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 the
18. Registering authority.– (1) 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 months.
(2) Subject to
(a) the Deputy Commissioner may sanction the collection of
charitable funds if the collection is to be made from within a district; and
(b) the 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, the collection.
(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 charitable fund.
(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.– The Commission shall undertake a periodic evaluation of the
charities to review the performance of the charity
trustees under the Act.
24. Administrative actions.– (1)
If, after evaluation or audit, the Commission is satisfied that any charity has
failed to comply with the obligations envisaged under the Act, the Commission
or cancel the registration of that charity under the Act; and
(b) impose fine, not exceeding one million rupees, on the charity or
(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
25. Reports.– The
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.– (1) A charity trustee shall:
(a) comply with the terms and conditions of the governing instrument
which envisages the establishment of the charity trustee with the relevant authority;
(b) coordinate with the other charities operating in the respective
domain for purposes of consolidated efforts at achieving the objectives and
targets under the Act; and
(c) immediately inform the Commission about any change in the constituent document of the charity.
responsibilities of charity trustees.– A charity trustee shall be responsible
(a) controlling the
assets of the charity;
proper investment and utilization of the charitable fund;
(c) ensuring that
the charitable funds are not used for any purpose other than the declared
(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
(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 particular contain:
(a) entries pertaining to all
sums of money received and expended by the charity each day;
(b) matters in respect of which the receipt and expenditure takes
(c) the 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.– The
charity trustees shall ensure that accounting records
of a charitable fund are maintained as required under section 28.
30. Audit and Inspection.– (1)
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.
(2) 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 charitable
32. Penalty.– (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 and non-bailable.
(2) A Magistrate of the
first class shall conduct the trial of an offence under the Act in accordance
with the provisions of Chapter XXII
of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1898 (V of 1898) 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
(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.
35. Confiscation.– 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.
36. Appeal.– (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.
38. Rules.– (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:
(a) the form
and contents of declarations and the verification of statements made in a
(b) the period for which declarations
shall remain in force and the manner in which the period may be extended or
(c) the form and manner in which
receipts for donations may be given and the
maintenance of proper vouchers for purposes of the accounts;
(d) the maintenance of proper books of
account and the auditing of the accounts;
(e) the periodical submission of
statements of accounts;
(f) the supervision, inspection and examination of accounts; and
(g) the payment of charges for forms of
declarations and certificates.
39. Regulations.– Subject
to the Act and the rules, the Commission may, by notification, frame
regulations to give effect to the provisions of the Act.
40. Indemnity.– 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.
43. Repeal.– The Punjab Charities Ordinance 2018 (I of 2018) is hereby repealed.