Definition of a Public Trust under the Bombay Public Trust Act 1950.

According to Section 2 (13) of the Bombay Public Trust Act 1950, a Public Trust means , an express or constructive trust for either a public, religious or charitable purpose or both and includes a temple, a math, a wakf, church, synagogue, agiary or other place of public religious worship, a dharmada or any other religious or charitable endowment and a society formed either for a religious or charitable purpose or for both and registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860.

Procedure for Registration of Public Trusts under this Act.

It becomes mandatory to Register a Public trust under the Bombay Public Trusts Act 1950 and The Bombay Public Trust Rules 1951. Herein below mentioned are the provisions governing the procedure for the Registration of a Public Trust :

1. According to Section 18 of this Act the trustee is duty bound to make an application for the registration of the Public Trust to the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner of the region or sub-­region within the limits of which the trustee has an office for the administration of the trust or the trust property or substantial portion of the trust property is situated, as the case may be in writing accompanied by a prescribed fee , within three months’ from the date of the application of this Act, and in the case of a public trust created after this Act comes into force, within three months’ of its creation containing particulars with reference to (a)  the designation by which the public trust is or shall be known (hereinafter referred to as the name of the public trust), (b) the names and addresses of the trustees and the manager, (c) the mode of succession to the office of the trustee, (d) the list of the movable and immovable trust property and such description and particulars as may be sufficient for the identification thereof, (e)  the approximate value of the movable and immovable property, (f) the gross average annual income of the trust property estimated on the income of three years immediately preceding the date on 15 which the application is made or of the period which has elapsed since the creation of the trust, whichever period is shorter, (g) the amount of the average annual expenditure in connection with such public trust estimated or the expenditure incurred within the period to which the particulars under clause (v) relate. (h) the address to which any communication to the trustee or manager in connection with the public trust may be sent, (i) such other particulars which may be prescribed. Provided that, the rules may provide that in the case of any or all public trusts it shall not be necessary to give the particulars of the trust property of such value and such kind as may be specified therein.Every application made under sub­section (1) shall be signed and verified in the prescribed manner by the trustee or his agent specially authorized by him in this behalf. It shall be accompanied by a copy of an instrument of trust, if such instrument had been executed and is in existence.

2. Further  Rule 6 of the Bombay Public Trust Rules 1951 states that , the application shall be in the form of Schedule II hereto and the same in addition to a copy of the instrument of trust, shall beaccompanied by a copy of the scheme, if any, in operation in regard to thepublic trust.Every person signing the application shall subscribe on solemn affirmation before the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner, a Justice ofthe Peace, an Executive Magistrate or a Notary appointed under the NotariesAct, 1952 for the State of Maharashtra that the facts mentioned in the saidapplication are true to the best of my knowledge and belief. The Rule also mentions , the fee accompanying the application shall be in cash in following amounts :

Value of the Property

Rupees

when the value of the propertyof a public trust does notexceed Rs.2,000

3

when the value of the propertyof a public trust exceedsRs.2,000 but does not exceeds

5

when the value of the propertyof a public trust exceedsRs.5,000 but does not exceeds

10

when the value of the propertyof a public trust exceedsRs.10,000 but does not exceedsRs.25,000.

20

when the value of the propertyof a public trust exceedsRs.25,000.

25

 

Provided that no such fee shall be charged in the case of public trusts deemed to have been registered under section 28

(3) Further under Section 18, on having received such application , if the application is incomplete in any particulars, or does not disclose full particulars of the public trust, the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner may return the application to the trustee, and direct the trustee to complete the application in all particulars or disclose therein the full particulars of the trust, and resubmit it within the period specified in such direction. It shall be the duty of the trustee to comply with the direction and to send a memorandum in the prescribed form containing the particulars, including the name and description of the public trust , relating to the immovable property of 16 such public trust, to the Sub­-Registrar of the sub-­district appointed under the Indian Registration Act, 1908, in which such immovable property is situate for the purpose of filing in Book No. 1 under section 89 of that Act within three months from the date of creation of the public trust after signing and verifying the same in the prescribed manner by the trustee or his agents specially authorized by him in this behalf. Rule 6 of the Bombay Public Trust Act affirms that ,while on an application for registration of a public trust made under section 18, it has been decided by the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner or any other competent authority under the provisions of the Act, that the trust does not exist or that the trust is not a public trust to which the Act applies or that the value of the property of the public trust is less than the amount for which registration fee has been paid, the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner or such other authority may direct the refund of the whole of the fee or such part of the fees as has been paid in excess of the fee payable under sub-rule(5), as the case may be, to the applicant. The memorandum referred to in sub section (7) of section 18 shall be in the form of Schedule IIA hereto and the same shall be verified in the manner prescribed under sub-rule (4).

3. As stated Section 19 after an application is received under section 18, or upon on application made by any person having interest in a public trust or on his own motion, the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner shall make an inquiry in the prescribed manner for the purpose of verifying (i) whether a trust exists and whether such trust is a public trust, (ii) whether any property is the property of such trust, (iii) whether the whole or any substantial portion of the subject ­matter of the trust is situate within his jurisdiction, (iv) the names and addresses of the trustees and manager of such trust, (v) the mode of succession to the office of the trustee of such trust, (vi) the origin, nature and object of such trust, (vii) the amount of gross average annual income and expenditure of such trust, and (viii) any other particulars as may be prescribed under sub-­section 5 of section 18.Rule 7 of the Bombay Public Trust Rules 1951 talks about manner of conducting the inquiries stating that , except as otherwise provided in the Act and these rules, inquiries underor for purposes of sections 19, 22, 22A, 28, 29, 36, 39, 41D, 41E(3), 43(2)(a),47, 50A, 51, 54(3), and 79AA(2) or any other inquiry which the CharityCommissioner may direct to be held for the purposes of the Act, shall be held,as far as possible, in the Greater Bombay Region in accordance with theprocedure prescribed for the trial of suits under the Presidency Small CauseCourts Act, 1882, and elsewhere under the Provincial Small Cause Courts Act,1887. In any inquiry a party may appear in person or by his recognized agent orby a pleader duly appointed to act on his behalf:Provided that any such appearance shall, if the Deputy or AssistantCharity Commissioner so directs, be made by the party in person.

4. Rule 7A of the Bombay Public Trust Rules 1951 makes it compulsory for the charity commissioner to give public notice of such inquiry as provided in sub-rule (3)  by calling upon all persons concerned tosubmit their objections, if any, to him.When any such inquiry is initiated on application, the Deputy orAssistant Charity Commissioner shall, by order in writing, call upon the applicant to pay the estimated cost of giving such public notice within a specified time, regard being had to the mode of issuing such public notice; or when publication of such notice by an advertisement in one or more local newspapers is ordered in addition to other modes of publication, or allow the applicant to publish at his own cost the public notice prepared by the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner in the newspapers approved by the said officer within a specified time.Notwithstanding anything contained in clause (a) the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner may by order in writing exempt the applicant from payment of the whole or part of the cost of issuing such public notice, if he is satisfied that the applicant is not in a position to bear such cost, regard being had to the capacity of the trust to pay the financial position of the applicant or the nature of his interest in the matter.        

5. Further in accordance with Rule7A ,when the applicant fails to pay the estimated costs of giving such public notice within the specified time without reasonable excuse, or where the applicant is so exempted from depositing or meeting the cost of issuing such public notice or when the inquiry is made by the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner on his own motion, the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner shall direct the cost to be initially met from the Public Trusts Administration Fund and then while making the final order shall pass appropriate orders as to its reimbursement or otherwise from the property of the trust or any party to the proceedings as he may deem fit issuing such public notice, if he is satisfied that the applicant is not in a position to bear such cost, regard being had to the capacity of the trust to pay the financial position of the applicant or the nature of his interest in the matter.Failure on the part of the applicant to deposit or pay estimated or actual cost of giving such public notice within the specified time, or to publish it as an advertisement in the newspapers at his own cost within the specified time, as required by this sub-rule, shall amount to a contravention of the provisions of this rule for the purposes of section 67.

(6) As mentioned in Section 20, on completion of the inquiry provided for under Section 19, the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner shall record his findings with the reasons therefore as to the matters mentioned in the said section, and may make an order for the payment of the registration fee. Rule 8 of the Bombay Public Trust Rules mentions ,when a public trust is enrolled in the Register of Public Trusts a certificate shall be issued to the trustee in token of the registration and the same shall be signed by the Deputy or Assistant CharityCommissioner in charge of the Public Trusts Registration Office and shall bearthe official seal.If any certificate of registration is lost, destroyed or defaced, the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner may, on an application for thepurpose, issue a duplicate thereof (the word “Duplicate” being clearly stamped inred ink) on payment of such charge therefor not exceeding two rupees as theDeputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner may deem fit.

(7) Section 21 states that ,the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner shall make entries in register kept under section 17 in accordance with the findings recorded by him under section 20 or if appeals or applications are made as provided by this Act, in accordance with the final decision of the competent authority provided by this Act.Such entries subject to the provisions of this Act and subject to any change recorded under the following provisions, be final and conclusive.

(8) As affirmed in Section 22 ,where any change occurs in any of the entries recorded in the register kept under section 17, the trustee shall, within 90 days from the date of the occurrence of such change, or where any change is desired in such entries in the interest of the administration of such public trust, report such change or proposed change to the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner in charge of the Public Trusts Registration Office where the register is kept. Such report shall be made in the prescribed form. Further in accordance with Rule 8A of the Bombay Public Trust Rules 1951 ,where the name of any trust is duly changed and the Deputy or AssistantCharity Commissioner records this change of the name in respect of the trust inthe Register of Public Trusts, the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissionermay either correct the original certificate is produced, or issue a fresh certificateof registration in the new name with the original registration number on payment of a sum not exceeding one rupee.

(9) In accordance with Section 23 ,If any part of the property of any public trust is situate within the limits of more than one region or sub-­region, the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner of the region or sub-­region within the limits of which the public trust is registered, shall forward a copy of the entries to the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner in charge of the region or sub­-region within the limits of which such part of the trust property is situate. The Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner in charge of such region or sub­-region shall make an entry in such book as may be prescribed for the purpose. A copy of such entry shall also be sent by the Deputy or the Assistant Charity Commissioner, as the case may be, to the Sub-­Registrar appointed under the Indian Registration Act, 1908, of the sub-­district within the limits of which such property or part thereof is situate.

(10) As confirmed in Section 26 ,the Charity Commissioner and the Charity Commissioner shall cause the entries in the register kept under section 17 to be made or amended in regard to such public trust in accordance with any decisionmade by Any Court of ‘competent jurisdiction’ deciding any question relating to any public trust which is not expressly or impliedly barred under the provisions of this Act.

(11) Section 28A states that ,the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner shall send a memorandum in the prescribed form containing entries including the entry of the name and description of the public trust, relating to immovable property of such public trust made by him in the register kept under section 17 to the Sub-­Registrar of the sub­-district appointed under the Indian Registration Act, 1908, in which such immovable property is situate.

List of Documents required to Register a Public Trust

Schedule 2 – which is the Application for Registration [with Rs. 100 Court Fee Stamp stuck on]

Trust Deed [On Rs. 100 Stamp Paper, or franked for Rs.100/-]

Consent Letter signed by all Trustees [THIS IS A SIMPLE TYPED LETTER – NO STAMP PAPER, NO COURT FEE STAMP, NO FRANKING, etc.]

Affidavit signed by the Settler (this is to be handed over on the day of the Hearing, after completion of the Hearing) [with Rs. 10/- Court Fee Stamp]

Copies of Proof of Address and Proof of Identity of all Trustees (Passport, Aadhar Card, etc.) – These are all to be self-attested. Carry the original documents with you if possible, as sometimes these may be checked.

NOC from the owner of the property that is proposed as the Registered Address for the Trust, for the use of this address as the registered address of the Trust, along with a recent Electricity Bill, land-line telephone bill or Society maintenance bill of the same address with the owner’s name. Copies to be self-attested. [THIS IS A SIMPLE TYPED LETTER – NO STAMP PAPER, NO COURT FEE STAMP, NO FRANKING, etc.]

If anyone other than the Settler is getting the Registration done, then a Letter of Authorisation from all Trustees is needed, authorizing this person to submit, collect, make changes and sign as needed on all documents, connected to the Registration. [THIS IS A SIMPLE TYPED LETTER – NO STAMP PAPER, NO COURT FEE STAMP, NO FRANKING, etc.]

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    I hope by reading this article you got enlighten on ,Procedure and List of Documents required for registration of Public Trustfurther to mention before taken any financial decision based on this content it is prefered to take an expert opinion as matter can be subjective.