REGISTRATION OF CHARITIES AND PROVISIONS FOR INQUIRING INTO CHARITIES
—(1) The Commissioner shall continue to keep a register of charities in which shall be entered such particulars as he may from time to time determine of any charity registered therein.
(2) There shall be entered in the register every charity not excepted by subsection (4); and a charity so excepted may be entered in the register at the request of the charity, but (whether or not it was excepted at the time of registration) may at any time, and shall at the request of the charity, be removed from the register.
(3) Any institution which no longer appears to the Commissioner to be a charity shall be removed from the register with effect, where the removal is due to any change in its purposes or governing instruments, from the date of that change; and there shall also be removed from the register any charity which ceases to exist or does not operate.
(3A) The Commissioner shall refuse to register an institution as a charity —
if it appears to the Commissioner that the registration of the institution will be contrary to the public interest; or
on such other ground as the Minister may prescribe.
(3B) The Commissioner shall remove an institution from the register of charities —
if it appears to the Commissioner that the continued registration of the institution as a charity is contrary to the public interest; or
on such other ground as the Minister may prescribe.
(4) The following charities are not required to be registered:
any charity specified in the Schedule; and
any charity which is excepted by regulations made under this Act.
(5) Any application to the Commissioner for a charity to be registered shall be accompanied with copies of its governing instruments (or, if any provisions of the governing instruments are not set out in any document, particulars of them) and such other documents or information as the Commissioner may require for the purpose of the application.
(6) It shall be the duty of —
the governing board members of any charity which is not registered nor excepted from registration to apply for it to be registered, and to supply the documents and information required by subsection (5), within 3 months after its establishment or such longer period as the Commissioner may, in his discretion, allow; and
the governing board members (or last governing board members) of any institution which is for the time being registered to notify the Commissioner if it ceases to exist, or if there is any change in its governing instruments, or in its particulars entered in the register, and to furnish the Commissioner with particulars of any such change and copies of any new governing instruments or alterations of the governing instruments, within 7 days after such cessation or change or such longer period as the Commissioner may, in his discretion, allow,
and any person who makes default in carrying out any of the duties imposed by this subsection shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both and, in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding $50 for every day or part thereof during which the offence continues after conviction, and the Commissioner may by order require that person to make good that default.
(6A) Where the governing instrument of a registered charity requires the prior approval of the Commissioner for any amendment to the governing instrument and the Commissioner has delegated his power to grant such approval to a Sector Administrator under section 40C(1)(e), that requirement shall be deemed to apply as if it required the prior approval of the Sector Administrator (instead of the Commissioner) for the amendment of the governing instrument.
(7) The register (including entries cancelled when institutions are removed from the register) shall be open to public inspection at all reasonable times, except in so far as regulations otherwise provide.
(8) The register of charities may be prepared and kept in such manner as the Commissioner may think fit, including in electronic form in a computer.
(9) Where any information contained in the register is not in documentary form, subsection (7) shall be construed as requiring the information to be available for public inspection in legible form at all reasonable times.
[Charities Act 1985 Ed., s. 5]
—(1) An institution shall, for all purposes other than rectification of the register, be conclusively presumed to be or have been a charity at any time when it is or was on the register of charities.
(2) Any person who is or may be affected by the registration of an institution as a charity may, on the ground that it is not a charity, object to its being entered by the Commissioner in the register, or apply to the Commissioner for it to be removed from the register; and such objection or application shall be made or dealt with in such manner as may be prescribed by regulations made under this Act.
(3) An appeal against any decision of the Commissioner to enter or not to enter an institution in the register of charities, or to remove or not to remove an institution from the register, may be brought in the High Court by the persons who are or claim to be the governing board members of the institution, or by any person whose objection or application under subsection (2) has been disallowed by the Commissioner; and a copy of every notice of such appeal shall be transmitted to the Attorney-General.
(4) If there is an appeal to the High Court against any decision of the Commissioner to enter an institution in the register, or not to remove an institution from the register, then until the Commissioner is satisfied whether his decision is or is not to stand, the entry in the register shall be maintained, but shall be in suspense and marked to indicate that it is in suspense; and for the purposes of subsection (1) an institution shall be deemed not to be on the register during any period when the entry relating to it is in suspense under this subsection.
(5) Any question affecting the registration or removal from the register of an institution may, notwithstanding that it has been determined by a decision on appeal under subsection (3), be considered afresh by the Commissioner and shall not be concluded by that decision, if it appears to the Commissioner that there has been a change of circumstances or that the decision is inconsistent with a later judicial decision, whether given on such an appeal or not.
[Charities Act 1985 Ed., s. 6]
—(1) The Commissioner may, with respect to a charity to which this subsection applies, give a direction requiring the name of the charity to be changed, within such period as is specified in the direction, to such other name as the governing board members may determine with the approval of the Commissioner.
(2) Subsection (1) shall apply to a charity if —
it is a registered charity and its name (referred to in this Act as the registered name) is the same as, or is in the opinion of the Commissioner too like, the name, at the time when the registered name was entered in the register in respect of the charity, of any other charity (whether registered or not);
the name of the charity is in the opinion of the Commissioner likely to mislead the public as to the true nature of —
the purposes of the charity as set out in its governing instruments; or
the activities which the charity carries on under its governing instruments in pursuit of those purposes;
the name of the charity includes any word or expression which in the opinion of the Commissioner is likely to mislead the public in any respect as to the status of the charity;
the name of the charity is in the opinion of the Commissioner likely to give the impression that the charity is connected in some way with the Government or any public authority, or with any other body of persons or any individual, when it is not so connected; or
the name of the charity is in the opinion of the Commissioner offensive,
and any reference in this subsection to the name of a charity is, in relation to a registered charity, a reference to the name by which it is registered.
(3) Any direction given by virtue of subsection (2)(a) shall be given within 12 months of the time when the registered name was entered in the register in respect of the charity.
(4) Any direction given under this section with respect to a charity shall be given to the governing board members; and on receiving any such direction the governing board members shall give effect to it notwithstanding anything in the governing instruments of the charity.
(5) Where the name of any charity is changed under this section, it shall be the duty of the governing board members to notify the Commissioner, within 7 days after such change or such longer period as the Commissioner may, in his discretion, allow, of the new name of the charity and of the date on which the change occurred.
(6) A change of name by a charity under this section shall not affect any rights or obligations of the charity; and any legal proceedings that might have been continued or commenced by or against it in its former name may be continued or commenced by or against it in its new name.
(7) Any reference in this section to the governing board members of a charity shall, in relation to a charity which is a company, be read as a reference to the directors of the company.
(8) Where any direction is given under this section with respect to a charity which is a company, the direction shall be taken to require the directors of the company to take the necessary steps to effect the change of the name of the company, including applying to the Registrar of Companies for the reservation and approval of the new name under section 27 or 378 of the Companies Act (Cap. 50), as the case may be.
(9) Nothing in this section shall apply to an exempt charity.
[UK Charities Act 1993, s. 6]
—(1) The Commissioner may from time to time institute inquiries with regard to charities or a particular charity or class of charities, either generally or for particular purposes.
(2) The Commissioner may either conduct such an inquiry himself or appoint a person to conduct it and make a report to him.
(3) For the purposes of any such inquiry, the Commissioner or a person appointed by him to conduct the inquiry may by order require any person —
to furnish accounts and statements in writing with respect to any matter in question at the inquiry, being a matter on which that person has or can reasonably obtain information, or to return answers in writing to any questions or inquiries addressed to him on any such matter, and to verify any such accounts, statements or answers by statutory declaration;
to furnish copies of documents in his custody or under his control which relate to any matter in question at the inquiry, and to verify any such copies by statutory declaration; and
to attend at a specified time and place and give evidence or produce any such documents,
and any person who fails to comply with any requirement specified in the order shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both and, in the case of a continuing offence, to a further fine not exceeding $50 for every day or part thereof during which the offence continues after conviction.
(4) For the purposes of any such inquiry, evidence may be taken on oath, and the person conducting the inquiry may for that purpose administer oaths, or may instead of administering an oath require the person examined to make and subscribe a declaration of the truth of the matters about which he is examined.
(5) Where the Commissioner proposes to take any action in consequence of an inquiry under this section, the Commissioner may publish the report of the person conducting the inquiry, or such other statement of the results of the inquiry as he thinks fit, in any manner calculated in his opinion to bring it to the attention of persons who may wish to make representations to him about the action to be taken.
(6) A copy of the report of the person conducting an inquiry under this section shall, if certified by the Commissioner to be a true copy, be admissible as evidence of any fact stated in the report, and as evidence of the opinion of that person as to any matter referred to in the report, in any legal proceedings instituted by the Commissioner under section 25 and in any legal proceedings instituted by the Attorney-General in respect of a charity.
(7) A document purporting to be a certificate issued for the purposes of subsection (6) shall be received in evidence and be deemed to be such a certificate unless the contrary is proved.
(8) If any person wilfully alters, suppresses, conceals or destroys any document which he may be required to produce under this section, he shall be guilty of an offence and shall be liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding $5,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year or to both.
[Charities Act 1985 Ed., s. 7]
9. [Repealed by Act 34/2010 wef 01/03/2011]
10. [Repealed by Act 34/2010 wef 01/03/2011]
11. [Repealed by Act 34/2010 wef 01/03/2011]