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MINIMUM REQUISITES FOR THE CONSTITUTION OR BYE-LAWS OF A

VOLUNTARY ORGANISATION

As is mentioned in the Society’s Registration Act, 1860, there is a basic need for any
voluntary organization to have a document comprising of rules and regulations for any
voluntary organization. It is a spirit of any organization and deals with various rules and
regulations to run its activities. In the following paragraphs, the content of any constitution
for this purpose will be discussed.

1. Aims and Objectives of a voluntary organization: As is evident that no


organization is developed without having some aims and objectives failing which
it will be just a group for the sake of the group. That is why, these are called as
pivot of any organization and it is because of this it is stated in the Society’s
Registration Act that the Society has to present a memorandum comprising of the
rules and regulations. These aims are supposed to be in the lines of the areas
stipulated in the Act.
2. Membership: As the abovementioned Act states that it is necessary to have a
group of at least 7 members so the constitution of the organization should include
the issue of membership in terms of its category and in terms of its cancellation,
resignation and fees.
3. General Body: Voluntary organization is supposed to be a democratic body hence,
it is pertinent to have a body known as the General Body which is comprised of its
members irrespective their different categories. It is desirable that the constitution
should include the provisions for holding its periodic meetings, describing the
functions of the General Body and the quorum of this body.
4. Executive Body or the Governing Body: It is neither possible nor desirable that
all the activities of any voluntary organization should be performed by each and
every member. Hence, certain powers are being delegated by the body of the
members to their representatives and such body is known as the governing body or
executive council. It is a body which is supposed to hold organize its periodic
meetings as is required by the constitution. Hence, it is desired to cover the
procedure of the formation of such committee, its tenure and the detailed
description of the functions of this body.
5. Office Bearers: This is a body which is constituted either from the executive
council or directly elected by the general body depending upon the provisions of
the constitution of any voluntary organization. It looks after the day to day activity
of the organization. If an organization is a unitary, in general, the team of the office
bearers is comprised of president, vice-president, general secretary or secretary,
secretary or joint secretary and treasurer. The constitution covers the functions and
powers of the office bearers. In majority of cases, the society is represented by the
president or the general secretary/secretary. They are supposed to be the
mouthpiece of any organization.
6. Quorum of the different bodies: As all the abovementioned bodies are supposed
to hold its meeting, it is pertinent to have some provisions of its quorum which
talks about the presence of the minimum number of the people to hold the
meetings. The provision for the quorum of any organ of the organization is
necessary to have minimum possible healthy and democratic atmosphere for its
functioning.
7. Electoral procedures: To maintain the democratic values and to maintain
activeness in any organization, it is pertinent to give some space in the constitution
of the organization to lay down some of the procedures about the election of its
governing body and other organs. Hence, it is necessary to describe the procedure
of the voting-may it be ballot voting or by raising hand. It is also desirable that for
the purpose of holding elections of any organization, the procedures should be laid
down to appoint an election commission to look after the proceedings of the
election.
8. Financial procedures: Finance plays a pivotal role in running any institution and
so is the case with any organization whether it is voluntary or the non-
governmental. Hence, it is supposed that the constitution of any organization
should describe about the way of developing funds, its maintenance, way of
spending, its auditing and so on. It should also discuss about who will run the bank
accounts and for the said purpose, who will be the signatory.
9. Dissolution: As the constitution of any organization is developed with a far
reaching implication, it is desirable that the constitution should also talk about the
dissolution-may be due to merger in any other organization or due to the feeling
that there is no more scope of work in this field or may be due to non-resolved
disputes. For this, there is a need of a provision in terms how much percentage of
votes is needed to discuss the proposal of dissolution and in another meeting how
far percentage of vote is required for its approval. However, so far as the position
of the Societies Registration Act, 1860 is concerned, for both the purposes, the
minimum requisite vote is 3/5 of the members present and voting.

In an outset, it can be said that the founder members of the organization are free to
develop their bye-laws as per their convenience but those rules and regulations should not
be in contravention to the provisions laid down in the Societies Registration Act.