Taking over of a public charitable trust
Can a public charitable trust bee taken over by a another charitable trust with same objectives? If so, what are the modes of taking over?
The Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 1997 is applicable to the state of Karnataka since 2001, which does not contain any provision on the amalgamation/merger/acquisition of public trusts.
Section 50A(2) of the Bombay Public Trusts Act, 1950 as applicable to the State of Karnataka [prior to 2001], inter aliaprovides that "[w]here the Charity Commissioner is of opinion that in the interest of the proper management or administration, two or more public trusts may be amalgamated", the Commissioner may frame a common scheme for such amalgamation. While doing so, the commissioner is obligated to give a hearing to all interested persons as well as the trustees of the trusts being amalgamated.
There is no case yet on whether this power of amalgamation can also be extended to allowing one trust to take over the other. However, it would appear that even when taking over could be allowed, a necessary pre-requisite is the framing of the scheme for the new trust by the Charity Commissioner.
In addition, it is arguable whether Section 50A will be applicable in Karnataka any more, since the Bombay Public Trusts Act has been replaced by Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act. Thus it is uncertain whether such amalgamation/merger/acquisition will be allowed in Karnataka.
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