Kerala High Court while disposing off the writ petition ‘State Environment Protection Council vs. State of Kerala [WP(C).No.2366 OF 2015(S) ]’ on 19/01/2021 opined that NGOs or associations or societies, should not give any impression, to the public at large that, it is a statutory body, under any enactment, State / Central, as the case may be.
In the present case the petitioner ‘State Environment Protection Council’ is not a statutory body , but an entity registered under the Kerala Societies Registration Act, 1860. Even though it is not statutory body ( rather private body) , its name gives an impression to the public that is a statutory body. This is misleading. Considering this aspect the court ( comprising the Chief Justice Mr.s.Manikumar and Justice Shaji P.Chaly ) directed Inspector General of Registration, State of Kerala, to take appropriate decision so that NGOs or association, or societies, registered under the Kerala Societies Registration Act, 1860, as far as possible, avoid using the name 'Central' or 'State' or 'National', within two months from the date of receipt of a copy of this judgment .
The issue for the registering authority under the Kerala Societies Registration Act, 1860 is the non existence of specific naming rules for NGOs or association, or societies, as is available for companies under the Companies Act, 2013. [Rule 8 & 8 A of the Companies (Incorporation) Rules, 2014 provides specific naming guidelines for companies.] Any Company - private limited company , public limited company or section 8 company can be registered only adhereing to the naming guideliness.