NGOs registered under the Kerala Societies Registration Act, 1860, as far as possible, should avoid, using the name 'Central' or 'State' or 'National': says Kerala High Court
January 30th, 2021

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. 

Click here to read the judgment.