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Blood Relatives “Can” form a Society

The Delhi High Court (“DHC”) has recently held that the right to register a society, as a legal entity, is available to any seven or more persons coming together, whether they are related to each other by blood or not.

The Registrar of Societies, Government of NCT of Delhi (“Registrar”) has been, based on the guidelines issued by the Government of NCT of Delhi, requiring all persons desirous of registering a society with its offices, to submit an affidavit confirming that the members of the society are not related by way of blood or otherwise.

The requirement for such a confirmation on affidavit came up for consideration by the DHC recently in the matter of Brij Mohan Gupta Vs. Registrar of Societies. In this case, the Registrar had cancelled registration of a society on the ground that an incorrect affidavit, confirming absence of any blood relationship amongst its members, was submitted with the Registrar at the time of registration inspite of two of the society’s promoter members being father and son. The order of the Registrar cancelling registration of the said society was challenged before the DHC.

In terms of the DHC judgment in the said case, there is no embargo under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 that the persons desirous of forming a charitable or any other society cannot be related to each other by blood or otherwise. The DHC also observed that such a requirement had no statutory or rational basis and was patently illegal in addition to being in contravention to Article 14 (Right to Equality) and Article 19(1)(c) (Freedom of Every Citizen of India to Form an Association or Union) of the Constitution of India.

Resultantly, the DHC set aside the order of the Registrar cancelling registration of the said society. Following the judgment, the persons related by blood can get together to form a society in the NCT of Delhi.