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Registering a Public Trust in Mumbai

 

Before you reach this stage, you should have already decided that a “Public Trust” is the type of organisation that you would like to set up.

 

To know what are the type of organisations that can be set-up and how to choose the best one for your purpose, please read

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-profit_laws_of_India and http://www.cafindia.org/pages/Registering%20as%20a%20Charitable%20Organisation%20in%20India.pdf  

and also consult with your accountant and/or lawyer before you decide.

 

1. Registration under whom? Where?

 

A Public Trust is registered with the Charity Commissioner’s office in Mumbai which is situated at Worli.

See http://mahacharity.gov.in/ for detailed addresses and timings, etc.

 

2. Registration under which law or act?

 

The Bombay Public Trust Act of 1950 and the Bombay Public Trust Rules of 1951 are the applicable laws. These are available for your reference at  http://mahacharity.gov.in/static_pages/pdf/B.P.T.Act,1950.pdf and

http://mahacharity.gov.in/static_pages/pdf/B.P.T.Rules,1951.pdf respectively.

You can also purchase hard copies of the above documents from the Government printing Press at Charni Road at nominal costs.

 

Several amendments have been made to this Act.

 

Tax Print (on Bazaar Gate Street, Fort) also sells the latest Maharashtra Public Trusts Act (as amended up to 2014) for approx. Rs. 500/-

 

3. What documents are to be submitted to the Charity Commissioner for Registration?

 

The following documents are to be submitted:

 

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

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

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

  IV.      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]

 

Other documents that need to be attached / submitted:

i)        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.

ii)       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.]

iii)     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.]

 

 

4. Anything else that is needed?

 

1. Court Fee Stamps

2. Stamp Paper or access to franking

3. Notary who will notarise the documents before submitting

 

5. How much time does the Registration process take?

 

Everyone we spoke to said that it takes 3-6 months to register a Trust.

We completed the process in 119 days, i.e. just a day short of 4 months.

So 3-6 months is the average time frame to keep in mind.

 

Registration of a Trust by the Charity Commissioner has been categorized as a ‘legal procedure’ and hence the department has stated that it cannot specify a minimum or maximum time frame for a legal procedure.

 

This also means that there is no recourse that one has when faced with what looks like unreasonable delay.

 

The standard tactic for delay that is deployed every time you visit the office is that you will be informed of one more document or procedure that needs to be completed, for which you will need to come again.

 

Another reason for delay is that the concerned person is on leave / is unavailable / is not in the office / is not at his / her table.

 

If you face such delay more than once, question the officer concerned. Ask for your file be seen by another officer who is not absent, and emphasize that you have already visited their office ‘x’ or ‘y’ times.

 

For a detailed break-up of the time taken, refer to Table 1 at the end of this document.

 

6. How much does it cost to Register a Trust?

 

The actual fee for Registration is only Rs. 15/-. But the following costs are incurred to complete the Registration process:

 

1. Photo-copying and Printing charges – about Rs.500

2. Franking cost – about Rs.100/-

3. Court Fee Stamps – about Rs. 120/-

4. Notary costs – about Rs.200

5. Cost of publishing Notice in newspaper – about Rs. 1650/-

 

These total to Rs. 2570/-

 

So, the total cost incurred would be between Rs. 2500 - Rs. 3000/- [Plus conveyance]

 

7. Where are Draft Copies of the above documents available?

 

Draft Copies of the above are available at:

 

i)                    Schedule 2 at http://mahacharity.gov.in/static_pages/Schedule2new.pdf

 

Print the above Draft on Legal Paper (light green and longer in size than A4 paper) and attach Rs. 100/- Court Fee Stamp on Schedule 2.

 

Court Fee stamps are available for sale outside some Courts in Mumbai.

 

ii) Some Draft Trust Deeds are available for your reference at

/www.legalissuesforngos.org/main/trust/specimen-deed.pdf

and

http://www.karmayog.com/formation.htm

 

and

http://www.shivcacs.com/ourattachment/5.4_sample_trust_deed.doc

and

http://www.advocatekhoj.com/library/agreements/trust/5.php

and

http://www.caaa.in/Image/hb-charitable_org.pdf

The important Clauses in the Trust Deed are the Objectives of the Trust.

 

Once you have filled in the Trust Deed, it is advisable to get this checked by your accountant or lawyer who can advise you if the clauses best suited for your purpose are correctly included in the document.

 

The Trust Deed has to be printed on Legal Paper and then franked, or printed on Rs. 100 Stamp Paper.

 

All trustees have to sign on all pages of the Trust Deed as well as on the last page next to their photographs.

 

Two witnesses must also sign the Trust Deed.

 

The Trust Deed thus printed on stamp paper (or franked) and then signed by all Trustees is to be Notarised by a Notary.

 

iv)     Draft Consent Letter is available at http://www.karmayog.com/formation.htm

v)      A scanned copy of the Affidavit is available at http://www.karmayog.org/redirect/strred.asp?docId=34226

This also requires a Court Fee Stamp of Rs. 10/- to be pasted on it.

 

8. Do you need an Agent or a Lawyer to get the Registration done or can you do it yourself?

 

A:
- You do not need an Agent or a Lawyer as the procedure is fairly clear.
- It is best if one of the Trustees himself or herself does the Registration, as otherwise you will need to authorise the person who is undertaking the Registration for you
- The Settler (Founding Trustee) has to be present for the Hearing, so if the Settler is himself or herself doing the Registration, this is the easiest.

- On completion of the registration, the Certificate of Registration will be handed over to the Settler of the Trust, unless he or she has authorized someone to collect the same on his / her behalf.

 

 

9. Detailed and step-wise procedure:

 

  1. Fill in all the documents listed above (1-4)

 

  1. Get the documents franked / stamped / notarized as required and with the requisite Court Fee stamp stuck on.

 

  1. Make one copy of the whole set for your record.

 

  1. Submit your application to the Charity Commissioner’s Office (2nd Floor – Tapal / Post section) containing:
    - Schedule 2 – original
    - Trust Deed – copy (You keep the original)
    - Consent Letter - original
    - Copies Proof of Identity and Proof of Address of all Trustees
    - NOC from owner of property that is the Registered Address for your Trust along with the latest Electricity Bill / Land Line Phone Bill / Society Maintenance Bill

 

  1. You will get a stamped receipt on your copy of the set of papers with the date of submission. The person at the Inward Desk will tell you to come back in a week to check the progress of your file.

 

  1. When you return in a week, the Inward Desk will direct you to the concerned person who has assigned a number and zone to your application for Registration.

 

  1. Depending on the area of the city (Western suburbs, etc.) that your Proposed Trust is to be registered in, you will be assigned a specific number and to a specific officer.

 

  1. This officer will be handling your file from now on until completion, and the assigned number is the one that you must quote when referring to your application.

 

  1. Once you know the number and officer, you meet with the concerned officer.

 

  1. The concerned officer will then go through your file and check if the application is complete in all respects.

 

  1. This may take a week and you may be asked to come again after a week to collect a Notice.

 

  1. When you come next after a week, the concerned officer will hand over to you a draft Notice (in Marathi) that is signed by the Deputy Charity Commissioner (Dy. C. C.) and which is to be published by you in a newspaper.
  2. The Public Notice states that a Trust of so-and-so name is proposed to be registered. Anyone having any objection to the same must reply in writing to the undersigned (i.e. the Dy. C. C.) within 30 days of this Notice being published.

 

  1. If you have your own contacts who publish classified ads and Public Notices, then you can definitely go ahead and get the Notice Published through your own sources.

 

  1. Otherwise the concerned officer will give you the name and number of a local agency in Worli itself, who will undertake the same at reasonable costs.

 

  1. The agency asks you to scan and email the Public Notice to them; the next day the Notice will appear in a local Marathi newspaper.

 

  1. You need to submit an original copy of the newspaper containing your Public Notice to the concerned officer, who now attaches it with your other papers.

 

  1. The officer will now give you a date for the Hearing, 30 days after the Public Notice has been published.

 

  1. Hearings are held at the Charity Commissioner’s office on every Monday and Friday, so the next available Mon. or Fri. will be assigned to you as the hearing date.

 

  1. The Settler or Founding Trustee must be present at the Hearing.

 

  1. The Hearing takes place before the Deputy Charity Commissioner.

 

  1. To be prepared for the Hearing, you should go through your Trust Deed and the Objectives listed by you there.

 

  1. You need to carry the original Trust Deed with you on the date of the hearing as well as the Affidavit. The original Trust Deed is to be handed over to the concerned officer.

 

  1. You will be called in to the room of the Deputy Charity Commissioner who may ask you some questions about the proposed Trust.

 

  1. On completion of the Hearing, the Affidavit is to be signed in the presence of the officer who then affirms the same.

 

  1. The Deputy Charity Commissioner will then sign and complete your application process.

 

  1. The concerned officer will then ask you to pay Rs. 15 in cash to the cashier at the counter.
  2. On making this payment, the registration procedure is complete. The concerned officer will ask you to come back in 10 days time to collect the Registration Certificate and your original stamped and signed Trust Deed.

 

  1. After 10 days, when you return, the officer will hand over to you a Certificate of Registration of your Public Trust, and the original Trust Deed that is signed and stamped.

 

10. Some tips that may be useful:

 

  1. Have patience

 

  1. Record everything that happens, in a little notebook, in front of the concerned officials. For e.g. If the official says that the concerned officer (who is supposed to take action on your file) is on leave or absent, then note this down in your notebook with the date and time.

 

  1. We have found that it is best to turn up at the office rather than call and ask if there is a need for you to come.

 

  1. We believe that in the normal matter of things, there should be no reason for us to be calling government officers to find out if our work has been done, especially when the next date for us to visit the office has been given by the officer himself or herself, and not by us.

 

  1. If there is more than one Trustee present at the Hearing, this can help to complete the procedure faster as 2 people from one Trust appear to be more sincere than one or even none, as so many Trusts are represented by Lawyers.

 

  1. No one asked us for a bribe, though we were pushed around and things were delayed more than is acceptable

 

  1. If you have Trustees that are women, then it could help if the women undertook the registering of your Trust, as in our experience, it is rare that women are openly asked for bribes.

 

 


Table 1: Day wise break-up of procedure to register a Public Trust in Mumbai

 

No

Action

Day 1

Submitted application. Told to come back in 2 weeks.

 

Day 17

Told no progress; concerned person on leave; told to come next week

 

Day 22

Got an assigned number and officer. Asked to come back next week.

 

Day 28

Public Notice was not signed. Asked to come back next day.

 

Day 29

Collected Public Notice.

 

Day 30

Sent Public Notice for publishing

 

Day 31

Public Notice appears in Marathi newspaper

Submitted copy of published Public Notice to Charity Commissioner. Given date of hearing after 30 days

 

Day 64

Visited the Charity Commissioner’s office to confirm that the hearing is as scheduled.

 

Day 69

Present for Hearing. Informed that concerned person is on leave.

Officer asks for additional documents to be sumitted. Assigns new date for hearing.

 

Day 73

Present for Hearing. Informed that concerned person, though present, is unavailable for Hearing. We request a Hearing by any other person. Assigned new date for Hearing – 3rd time.

 

Day 108

Present for hearing. Procedures completed. Asked to come back in 10 days to collect Certificate.

 

Day 118

Visited the Charity Commissioner’s office to collect our Registration Certificate. Concerned person on leave.

 

Day 119

Visited the Charity Commissioner’s office for the 2nd time to collect our Registration Certificate. It was ready. Collected the Certificate and the original signed and stamped Trust Deed.

 

 

 

 


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