Registration under Societies Registration Act as well as a Trust

Dear Members,

Some amount of confusion exists in the minds of a few of us.

We are a Society registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 in Gujarat. Do we have to compulsorily register as a Public Charitable Trust also? We file our Annual Returns with the Registrar of Societies. Do we have to file the same with the Charity Commissioner simultaneously? To what extent are the provisions of Trusts Act becoming applicable to a Society?

Shall be grateful for your advice.

T.K. Balappan

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13 Responses to Registration under Societies Registration Act as well as a Trust

  1. C Udayashankar says:

    Yes, Maharashtra and Gujarath are different from rest of the Country with respect to the issue under discussion – amply made clear by Soma sastryji and Sri Subhash Mittal.

  2. VBChandrasekaran says:

    TRUST is TRUST. A Public Society is Society. Let us decide what we are and register accordingly. Why all manipulations?

  3. Ram Chandra Sharma says:

    Dear Mr. Balappan,
    As per my knowledge you can’t register under both act. Please choose any one of them and surrender other one. If you stend your registration with both Act. than in future you will in trouble because you are using one pan no. for both place.

    • Subhash Mittal says:

      As made clear by others. Gujarat & Maharashtra have what is called Bombay Public Charitable Trust Act 1950, which basically covers all charitable entities registered under whichever Act. There is a Charity Commissioner, who is responsible for regulating all the charitable entities in these two States. Please note charities are state subject under constitution and are not covered by central Acts, except for FCRA & Income Tax. Hence please except variations in workings of NGOs from state to state.

  4. B V Soma Sastry says:

    Dear Mr. Balappan,

    The “Bombay Pubic Trust Act 1950” is applicable to the states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. There is another layer for compliance i.e. Charity Commissioner at the state level. Hence all the charitable organizations have to comply with the provisions. Since the Act was framed prior to the bifurcation of the Bombay State (1956), the Act is applicable to only to these two states.

    Thanks and regards,

    B V Soma Sastry

    • Dear Sir,
      I think there are several confusion related to this issue.
      1. Both the Act are seperate and the proceedure for registartion is also differ, what is the meaning for keep it seprate ?
      2. In the Trust Act there are rules and guidelines provided specificaly but there are no such rules formulated under societies act. If it is right, why so ?
      3. If both are consider as same, Why there is no administartive fees for societies ?
      4. Who is the final authority to take decission in regards to any change in the societies. Is there any written guideline on it or not ?
      5. Does it manadtory to folow all rules framed under Trust ACT BY ALL aocieties registered under societies Act?
      6. In Trust Act/Rules there is a pPTR (Public Trust register) which is maintained by Charity Commissioner office. Is there any register for Sociities ? who is maintating it ?
      Please do needful to reply on the same to understand and for more clarity.

      • Subhash Mittal says:

        Divyesh ji,

        Public Charitable Trust Act 1950 covers all charitable entities. As I said refer to S. 2(13) of the said Act, which clearly covers society too. I reproduce the relevant section:
        S.2(13) “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;

        Purpose of the 1950 Act is to regulate public charitable bodies, irrespective of under which Act they have been formed. Pl do not forget many people have been demanding a similar Act at central level which covers all charitable societies. Normally Societies are registered under sub-registrar office. I understand in Maharashtra there are Society Registration Rules 1971. See link below,1971.pdf
        I am not 100% sure if these rules are latest or not do just, check from your local bookshop which keeps state Acts.


        • S.S.Shiva says:

          In Tamil Nadu, Societies are registered in the office of District Registrar of Societies, whereas the Trusts are registered in the jurisdictional Sub Registrar’s office

  5. Subhash Mittal says:

    Maharashtra Public Charitable Trust 1950 (earlier called Bombay Public Charitable Trust 1950) is applicable to all bodies which are formed for the purposes of religious or charitable purposes, including both Trusts & Societies formed under Society Registration Act 1860. Please refer to S. 2(13) of the Maharashtra Public Charitable Trust Act 1950. It is applicable to both Maharashtra & also Gujarat (with minor modifications).

    Hence since this Act is applicable to both Trusts & societies, you have to fully comply with the Act including filing of documents, etc.

  6. S.S.Shiva says:

    Dear Mr. Balappan,
    Both the Society and Trust are two different entities registered under different Acts. If you follow all the regulations of a Society, you need not register it again under Trust Act and function as a Society itself. Charity organisations are normally registered either as a Society or a Trust or under a specific section of Companies Act. It can function as any one of the three entities. All of them have similar exemptions under IT Act nd also enjoy the benefits of FCRA.

    • Subhash Mittal says:

      Dear Shiva,
      What you say is generally applicable in most part of the country, however in case of Gujarat & Maharashtra this is not so, as Maharashtra Public Charitable Trust Act 1950 is applicable in these two states, which requires compliance by all religious & charitable bodies including waqf, church, synagogue, etc.

      Since Mr Balappan is based in Ahemdabad, he has to follow the above Act too.


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