To live a normal life, one has to be supported by others. Since the dawn of mankind, or perhaps even before, humans have lived in social groups. Families and governments, which regulate the lives of people at large, are built on this foundation. Society is the collective term used to refer to this social group.
In other words, society is a group of people living together in a systematic manner, or an organization formed for the purpose of achieving a specific objective. A group generally seeks to accomplish a common goal, whether religiously, culturally, politically, scientifically, technologically, or charitablely.
The formation of groups by individuals who have a common desire is also common. Many people who wish to help out the downtrodden, or those who wish to organize blood donation camps, or even those who wish to join together as backpackers or bike riders, seek a common group for sharing ideas and accomplishing their common goals. Eventually, it became necessary to register these social groups or societies, so a law was brought in place. 1860’s Society Registration Act provided legal protection for these groups by giving them a juridical structure and legal recognition.
The Society Registration Act has the following significance:
Consequently, a group could deliberate, govern, act, and achieve its purpose as a result of codifying the Act. As of May 1860, the Society Registration Act came into effect. Almost every state government has adopted the Act with the necessary amendments. In the state of Karnataka, the Society Registration Act, 1960, was drafted, with certain amendments to the earlier Act. The Society Registration Act, of 1961, was also passed in the state of West Bengal. Through the Right to Information Act, 2005, any citizen of India can obtain information about any society.
This Act serves the following purposes:
There are several reasons for registering a group or society:
- Enhancing the spirit of the arts, sciences, and literature
- Practical knowledge to be imparted
- Educate the public about politics
- Supporting the needy through charitable donations
- Collecting resources for the orphans, as well as raising money for the military
- For the purposes of establishing libraries, art galleries, cultural centers, and museums.
The registration of societies consists of the following steps:
There has to be a minimum of seven members in the association in order for a society to be registered. This applies not only to Indians, but also to foreigners, companies, and other registered societies. In order to register a cooperative society, a minimum of 10 individuals are required.
Societies, on the other hand, are not required to register. They can either be registered or unregistered, just like partnership firms. However, it is generally urged to get it registered, as only registered societies can purchase, sell, and hold property, or exercise their right to sue or be sued. The state governments manage the registration of societies. Therefore, applications for registration must be submitted to the appropriate authority. The members should agree on the name of the Society before registering the Society, and then they should draft the Society’s Memorandum of Rules and Regulations.
Choosing a name for the society:
In accordance with the Society Registration Act, 1860, a Society’s name cannot be the same or identical to the name of any other registered society. In addition, it should be kept in mind that the name selected for the Society should not be patronized by the Indian government or the state government. The name of the society, for example, cannot include words such as state, union, cooperative, etc. The Emblems and Names Act, 1860 prohibits the registration of any such names.
Rules and Regulations and Memorandum
When registering a Society, the founding members must affix their signatures to both the Memorandum and the Rules and Regulations of the Society. Both documents must be signed by all members of the Society. Besides the name and objectives of the Society, the names, addresses, and designations of the founding members should be included.
In the presence of a witness, the documents must be signed by a Notary Public, Gazetted Officer, Advocate, Chartered Accountant, Oath Commissioner, or Magistrate first-class, stamped with their official stamps, and accompanied by their respective addresses. A society registration fee is around ₹5000.