Religion is not in the ambit of "Lawful Act", donation to that can't demand tax benefits.
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What is a "lawful act"? In a secular country, how does promotion of (organized) religion come under the ambit of "lawful act"? If the purpose of the state is to dissociate religion from the laws, as declared in the preamble of our Constitution; if "promoting scientific temper" is one of the declared objectives - how can you list promotion of religious organization in the same breath?
I was just studying the various laws regarding formation of a society/trust etc. Both the laws are inherited from the British colonial period; the Societies Act was formulated in 1860, and the Trusts Act in 1882. Both of them refer to an 1843 definition of "lawful act" - and fine, that's understandable why these acts then included clauses so that religious societies and trusts are legitimised. But hey, the West Bengal Societies Registration Act was formulated in 1961, a decade later than the Constitution itself. Alas, this one too lists religious activities along with "promotion of" literature, arts, and science; building and maintaining archives/libraries related to the above; dissemination of useful knowledge (including political). The list also includes "welfare of the military orphans" - as if other orphans are dispensable, or as if we are running a military state. These trusts are also entitled to tax relief like IT Act's 80G etc. In a secular country, religion is a personal affair, then why should one get tax benefits for practising religion, by donating to a temple/mission trust or society?
My demand is that to delegitimise all those religious and temple trusts with retrospective effect, to stop having this clause in the Act(s) so that no further registration of a Society or a Trust is possible whose sole objective is pushing through the religious lines. The trusts/societies that also have charity or other legitimate acts in their Objectives/MOA, should be forced to drop the "religious" part.
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