The Central Bureau of Investigation on Monday informed the Supreme Court that more than 22 lakh non-governmental organisations are operating in the country, and Uttar Pradesh tops with 5.48 lakh NGOs followed by Maharashtra which has 5.18 lakh.Filing an affidavit in compliance with the court’s earlier direction, CBI furnished a detailed list and said 22,45,655 NGOs were registered under the provisions of the Societies Registration Act in 20 states and six UTs. Of these, only 2,23,478 (about 10%) have filed their annual balance sheets, including income and expenditure statements, before the registering authority.The Supreme Court sought response from Tamil Nadu and Telangana for not providing details to the CBI about all registered NGOs in two states and whether they have filed balance sheets before the authorities. A bench headed by chief justice H L Dattu issued notices to the two states and posted the matter for hearing after two weeks even as CBI also sought direction for states and UTs to provide requisite information through internet. During the brief hearing, additional solicitor general P S Patwalia said the NGOs will not be eligible for any grant unless they comply with the condition of filing statement of income expenditure of last three years. However, the bench, also comprising Justices A K Sikri and R K Agrawal, said “all the statements made here has to be in black and white.”The apex court had expanded the scope of the PIL which was filed in 2011 by advocate M L Sharma against an NGO, Hind Swaraj Trust, run by anti-corruption crusader Anna Hazare. The PIL had sought probe into alleged embezzlement of funds.CBI also told the bench that Arunachal Pradesh, Haryana, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh and union Territory of Delhi have only furnished part information and reminders have been sent to them. The agency filed an affidavit in compliance with the September 2, 2013 order and an annexure in it stated that out of 97,437 NGOs in Assam, none have filed their balance sheets. Goa, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Tripura and Himachal Pradesh are the other states where the NGOs have not filed their balance sheets.CBI said the information received from Union Territories indicated that NGOs in Lakshadweep, Chandigarh and Daman & Diu were not submitting their returns. The affidavit said that exception was the state of Jammu and Kashmir and Mizoram where all the 147 and 34 registered NGOs respectively filed their balance sheets. It said only 652 out of 33,781 NGOs in Bihar submitted the income expenditure statement to the authority and in Jharkhand 3,185 NGOs out of 11,597 have met the requirement. In Maharashtra, 77,766 NGOs out of 5,18,437 complied in filing income statement while in Sikkim 16 out of 143 NGOs have done the needful. CBI said in Uttar Pradesh out of 5,48,148 NGOs, approximately 1,19,000 have filed their balance sheets while in Gujarat out of 61,959 NGOs, approximately 5,539 have complied in filing the balance sheets.—With agency inputs

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Only 10% of 22 lakh NGOs file balance sheets