An Act to provide for the acquisition and transfer of the undertakings of Auroville and to vest such undertakings in a foundation established for the purpose with a view to making long-term arrangements for the better management and further development of Auroville in accordance with its original charter and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto.
WHEREAS Auroville was founded by the 'Mother' on the 28th day of February, 198 as an international cultural township;
AND WHEREAS in view of the serious difficulties which has arisen with regard to the management of Auroville, the management thereof had been vested in the Central Government for a limited period by the Auroville (Emergency Provisions) Act, 1980 (59 of 1980);
AND WHEREAS under the management of the Central Government and under the overall guidance of the International Advisory Council set up under the aforesaid Act, Auroville had been able to develop during the last eight years along several important lines and the residents of Auroville have also carried on activities for the development of Auroville which need further encouragement and consolidation;
AND WHEREAS Auroville was developed as a cultural township with the aid of funds received from different organisations in and outside India as also from substantial grants received from the Central and State Governments, and the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organisation also had, from time to time, reflected in its resolutions that the project on Auroville is contributing to international undertakings and promotion of peace;
AND WHEREAS for the purpose of encouraging, continuing and consolidating the aforesaid activities of Auroville, it is necessary in the public interest to acquire the undertakings of Auroville and to vest them in a body corporate established for the purposes;
BE it enacted by Parliament in the Thirty-ninth Year of the Republic of India as follows:
Section 1. Short title
This Act may be called the Auroville Foundation Act, 1988,
Section 2. Definitions
In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires, --
(a) "appointed day" means the date of commencement of this Act;
(b) "Auroville" means so much of the undertakings as form part of, or are relatable to, the cultural township which is known as Auroville and the charter of which was proclaimed by the 'Mother' on the 28th day of February, 1988;
(c) "Council" means the Auroville International Advisory Council constituted under sub-section (1) of section 21;
(d) "Custodian" means the person who is appointed as the Custodian under sub-section (2) of section 7 in respect of the undertaking;
(e) "Foundation" means the Auroville Foundation established under sub-section (1) of section 10;
(f) "governing Board" means the Governing Board of the Foundation constituted under sub-section (1) of section 11;
(g) "notification" means a notification published in the Official Gazette;
(h) "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made under this Act;
(i) "Residents' Assembly" means the Residents' Assembly of the Foundation;
(j) "Society" means Sri Aurobindo Society, being a Society as defined in the West Bengal Societies Registration Act, 1961 (West Bengal Act XXVI of 1961.), and having is registered office at Calcutta in the State of West Bengal;
(k) "specified date" means such date as the Central Government may, for the purposes of section 9, by notification, specify;
(l) "trust' or "body" means a trust or body specified in the Schedule.
(m) "undertakings" means the undertakings of the Society, trust or body which had vested in the Central Government under section 3.
Section 3. Transfer to and vesting in, the Central Government certain undertakings of the Society, trust and bodies
On the appointed day, so much of the undertakings of the Society, trust and body as form part of, or are relatable to Auroville, and the right, title and interest of the Society, trust and body, in relation to such undertakings, shall, by virtue of this Act, stand transferred to, and vest in, the Central Government.
Section 4. General effect of vesting
(1) The undertakings vested under section 3 shall be deemed to include all the assets, rights, leaseholds, powers, authorities and privileges, and all property (movable and immovable), including lands, buildings, works, workshops, projects, stores, instruments, machinery, automobiles and other vehicles, cash balances, funds, including reserve funds, investments and book debts of the Society, trust or body as form part of, or are relatable to, Auroville and all other rights and interests arising out of such properties as were immediately before the appointed day in the ownership, possession, power or control of the Society, trust or body, whether within or without India, and all books of account, registers, maps, plans and all other documents of whatever nature relating thereto.
(2) All properties and assets as aforesaid which have vested in the Central Government under section 3 shall, by force of such vesting, be freed and discharged from any trust, obligation, mortgage, charge, lien and all other incumbrances affecting them or of any attachment injunction, decree or order of any court or other authority restricting the use of such properties or assets in any manner or appointing any receiver in respect of the whole or any part of such properties or assets shall be deemed to have been withdrawn.
(3) Any licence or other instrument granted to the Society, trust or body in relation to any undertaking which has vested in the Central Government under section 3 at any time before the appointed day and in force immediately before the appointed day, shall continue to be in force on and after such day in accordance with its tenor in relation to and for the purposes of such undertaking or where the undertaking is directed under section 6 to vest in the Foundation, the Foundation shall be deemed to be substituted in such licence or other instrument as if such licence or other instrument had been granted to the Foundation and the Foundation shall hold it for the remainder of the period for which the Society, trust or body would have held it under the terms thereof.
(4) If, on the appointed day, any suit, appeal or other proceeding, of whatever nature, in relation to any property or asset which has vested in the Central Government under section 3, instituted or preferred by or against the Society, trust or body is pending, the same shall not abate, be discontinued or be, in any way, prejudicially affected by reason of the transfer of the undertakings of the Society, trust or body or of anything contained in this Act, but the suit, appeal or other proceeding may be continued, prosecuted or enforced by or against the Central Government, or where the undertakings of the Society, trust or body are directed under section 6 to vest in the Foundation, by or against the Foundation.
Section 5. Central Government or Foundation to be liable for certain prior liabilities
Every liability in relation to any undertaking in respect of any period prior to the appointed day shall be enforceable against the Central Government and not against the Society, trust or body, or where the said undertakings are directed, under section 6, to vest in the Foundation, against the Foundation.
Section 6. Power of Central Government to direct vesting of the undertakings in the Foundation
(1) Notwithstanding anything contained in section 3 and 4, the Central Government shall, as soon as may be after the appointed day, direct, by notification, that the undertakings and the right, title and interest of the Society, trust or body in relation to such undertakings which had vested in the Central Government under section 3, shall, instead of continuing to vest in the Central Government, vest in the Foundation either on the date of publication of the notification or on such earlier or later date as may be specified in the notification.
(2) Where the right, title and interest of the Society, trust or body in relation to the undertakings vest, under sub-section (1), in the Foundation, the Foundation shall, on and from the date of such vesting, be deemed to have become the owner in relation to such undertakings and the rights and liabilities of the Central Government in relation to such undertakings shall, on and from the date of such vesting, be deemed to have become, the rights and liabilities, respectively, of the Foundation.
Section 7. Management, etc., of the undertakings
(1) The general superintendence, direction, control and management of the affairs of the undertakings, the right, title and interest in relation to which have vested in the Central Government under section 3, shall, --
(a) where a direction has been made by the Central Government under sub-section (1) of section 6, vest in the Foundation; or
(b) where no such direction has been made by the Central Government, vest in a Custodian appointed day by the Central Government under sub-section (2),
and, thereupon, the Foundation, or the Custodian so appointed, as the case may be, shall be entitled to exercise all such powers and do all such things as the Society, trust or body, as the case may be, is authorised to exercise and do in relation to its undertakings.
(2) The Central Government may appoint any person as the Custodian of the undertakings in relation to which no direction has been made by it under sub-section (1) of section 6.
(3) The Custodian so appointed shall receive such remuneration as the Central Government may fix and shall hold office during the pleasure of the Central Government.
Section 8. Duties of person in charge of management by undertakings to deliver all assets
(1) On the vesting of the management of the undertakings in the Foundation or on the appointment of a Custodian under section 7, all persons in charge of the management of the undertakings immediately before such vesting or appointment shall be bound to deliver to the Foundation or Custodian, as the case may be, all assets, books of account, registers and other documents in their custody relating to the undertakings.
(2) The Central Government may issue such directions as it may deem desirable in the circumstances of the case to the Custodian as to the powers and duties of the Custodian and such Custodian may, also, if it is considered necessary so to do, apply to the Central Government at any time for instructions as to the manner in which the management of the undertakings shall be conducted or in relation to any other matter arising in the course of such management.
(3) Any person, who on the appointed day, has in his possession or under his control, any books, document or other papers relating to the undertakings shall be liable to account for the said books, documents or other papers to the Central Government or the Foundation, as the case may be, and shall deliver them up to the Central Government or the Foundation or to such person or body of persons as the Central Government or the Foundation may specify in this behalf.
(4) The Central Government or the Foundation may take or cause to be taken, all necessary steps for securing possession of all undertakings which have vested in the Central Government or the Foundation under this Act.
(5) the society, trust or body shall, within such period as the central government may allow in this behalf, furnish to that government a complete inventory of all its properties and assets, as on the appointed day pertaining to the undertakings and, for this purpose, the central government or the foundation shall afford to the society, trust or body all reasonable facilities.
Section 9. Certain powers of the Central Government or the Foundation
The Central Government or the Foundation shall be entitled to receive up to the specified date, to the exclusion of all other persons, any money due to the Society, trust or body in relation to its undertakings which have vested in the Central Government or the Foundation, as the case may be, and realised after the appointed day, notwithstanding that the realisation pertains to a period prior to the appointed day.
Section 10. Establishment and incorporation of the Foundation
(1) With effect from such date as the Central Government may, by notification, appoint in this behalf, there shall be established for the purpose of this Act, a Foundation, to be called the Auroville Foundation.
(2) The Foundation shall be a body corporate by the name aforesaid, having perpetual succession and a common seal with power to acquire, hold and dispose of property, both movable and immovable, and to contract and shall by the said name sue and be sued.
(Establishment and in-corporation of the Foundation.)
(3) The Foundation shall consist of the following authorities, namely :--
(a) the Governing Board;
(b) the Residents' Assembly;
(c) the Auroville International Advisory Council
Section 11. Governing Board
(1) The Governing Board shall consist of the following members, namely :--
(i) not more than seven members to be nominated by the Central Government from amongst persons, who have--
(a) rendered valuable service to Auroville;
(b) dedicated themselves to the ideals of life-long education, synthesis of material and spiritual researches or human unity;
(c) contributed significantly in activities that are being persued or are envisaged to be promoted in Auroville, including activities relating to environment, afforestation, arts are crafts, industry, agriculture, humanities, sciences and integral yoga;
(ii) two representatives of the Central Government to be nominated by it.
(2) The Central Government shall nominate a Chairman of the Governing Board from amongst the members nominated by it under clause (i) of sub-section (1).
(3) The general superintendence, direction and management of the affairs of the Foundation shall vest in the Governing Board which may exercise all the powers and discharge all the functions which may be exercised or discharged by the Foundation.
(4) The Governing Board may associate with itself in such manner and for such purposes as may be prescribed, any persons whose assistance or advice it may desire in complying with any of the provisions of this Act and a person so associated shall have the right to take part in the discussions of the Governing board relevant to the purposes for which he has been associated, but shall not have the right to vote.
(5) No act or proceeding of the Governing Board or any committee appointed by it under section 16 shall be invalidated merely by reason of,--
(a) any vacancy in, or any defect in the constitution of, the Governing Board or such committee; or
(b) any defect in the nomination of a person acting as a member of the Governing Board or such committee; or
(c) any irregularity in the procedure of the Governing Board or such committee not affecting the merits of the case.