Gaudiya Mission and others v Brahmachary: CA 30 Jul 1997

The High Court had found the plaintiff to be a charity, and ordered the Attorney-General to be joined in. The A-G appealed that order saying that the plaintiff was not a charity within the 1993 Act. The charity sought to spread the Vaishnava religion in London.
Held: Charities Act jurisdiction is restricted to charities registered in the UK, with no control over charities established and administered abroad. The Mission was not a charity within the meaning of the 1993 Act.
Mummery LJ observed that: ‘Under English law charity has always received special treatment. It often takes the form of a trust; but it is a public trust for the promotion of purposes beneficial to the community, not a trust for private individuals. It is therefore subject to special rules governing registration, administration, taxation and duration. Although not a state institution, a charity is subject to the constitutional protection of the Crown as parens patriae, acting through the Attorney-General, to the state supervision of the Charity Commissioners, and to the judicial supervision of the High Court. This regime applies whether the charity takes the form of a trust or of an incorporated body’.


Lord Justice Leggatt Lord Justice Morritt Lord Justice Mummery


Times 24-Sep-1997, [1998] Ch 341, [1997] EWCA Civ 2239




Charities Act 1993 33 96(1)


England and Wales


Appeal fromGaudiya Mission and Others v Kamalaksha Das Brahmachary ChD 14-Mar-1997
There was a dispute as to the management and ownership of the London Temple of the plaintiff, a Vaishnava religious sect in India.
Held: The proceedings were charity proceedings within section 33(8), because they are proceedings brought under . .
CitedMayor of Lyons v East India Co PC 12-Dec-1836
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CitedClark (Inspector of Taxes) v Oceanic Contractors Inc HL 16-Dec-1982
HL Income tax, Schedule E – Non-resident employer – Employees working in U.K. sector of North Sea – Whether employer liable to deduct tax from emoluments – Income Tax (Employments) Regulations 1973 – Income and . .
DistinguishedConstruction Industry Training Board v Attorney-General CA 1973
The principal issue was whether a body set up by statute and subject to the control of a minister of the Crown was a ‘charity’ within the meaning of section 45(1) of the Charities Act 1960, for which purpose it had to be subject to ‘the control of . .
CitedProvost of Edinburgh v Aubery 1754
The English court declined the jurisdiction for the distribution of a fund of 3,500 pounds bequeathed by the testator to the Provost of Edinburgh to be applied for the maintenance of poor labourers residing in Edinburgh and towns adjacent. He said . .
CitedRe Marr’s Will Trusts 1936
. .
CitedAttorney-General v Lepine 1818
The testator left part of his residuary estate for the benefit of a school for the poor in the parish of Dollar in Scotland.
Held: The English court declined jurisdiction. ‘I have always understood that, where a charity is to be administered . .
CitedIn Re Robinson; Besant v German Reich ChD 1931
The claim concerned a gift which had been made to the German government for the benefit of disabled German soldiers.
Held: The English court had no jurisdiction: ‘if the trustee is abroad there is no power in the Court to direct a scheme to be . .
CitedEmery v Hill 14-Feb-1826
The Court was asked to make an order with respect to a bequest to the treasurer of a society established in Scotland for the propagation of Christian knowledge.
Held: The English court had no jurisdiction over a Scottish charity. . .
CitedForbes v Forbes 3-Mar-1854
General Forbes died. It became necessary to decide what was his domicile at the date of death. He had been born in Scotland, but then served for 35 years in India, before retirng to live in London.
Held: The domicile in India was a domicile of . .
CitedAttorney-General v Sturge 4-Nov-1854
The testatrix had left funds to support a school in Genoa.
Held: The courts have no authority to make a scheme where the trustees would not be within the jurisdiction of the English courts. . .
CitedRe Colonial Bishoprics Fund 1841 1935
The court was asked to make a order with respect to the Fund, a trust established in England for the endowment of Bishoprics in the Colonies.
Held: The court had jurisdiction to make a cy-pres order. Since the trustees of the fund were in this . .
CitedAttorney-General v City of London 1790
A trust had been established in England for the advancement of Christianity among ‘infidels in America’. Acting on information that after the American War of Independence, there were no longer any infidels within the areas designated, and that the . .
CitedCamille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Inc v Inland Revenue Commissioners HL 1956
The company was a foreign corporation constituted according to the laws of the state of New York for objects which were exclusively charitable according to the law of the United Kingdom.
Held: The term ‘charity’ does not include an institution . .
CitedCamille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation Inc v Inland Revenue Commissioners CA 1954
The Court considered whether it had jurisdiction to make an order with respect to a company registered in New York for objects which were charitable according to the laws of England.
Held: The Revenue’s appeal against a finding that the . .
DoubtedRe Duncan CA 1867
The court was asked whether the consent of the Charity Commissioners was necessary to petition the Court to appoint a new trustee of a charity established in England to promote Christian education in Jamaica.
Held: In the 1853 Act, ‘Charity’ . .

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Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 04 May 2022; Ref: scu.142636