(Prayer: Second Appeal filed under Section 100 of Civil Procedure Code, praying to set aside the judgment and decree dated 24.09.2010 made in A.S.No.91 of 2008 on the file of the Principal Subordinate Judge, Kumbakonam, insofar as they are against the appellant, modifying the judgment and decree of the Trial Court dated 30.06.2008 made in O.S.No.110 of 2007 on the file of the II Additional District Munsif-cum-Judicial Magistrate, Kumbakonam and to allow the Second Appeal.)
1. The plaintiff in the suit in O.S.No.110 of 2007 on the file of the Second Additional District Munsif Court, Kumbakonam, is the appellant in this Second Appeal. The suit in O.S.No.110 of 2007 is for declaration that the plaintiff is still the Archakar of Azhvar and Thesikar Sannathi in the defendant temple, Kumbakonam, and for directing the defendant to pay of a sum of Rs.19,400/-, due to the plaintiff as arrears of salary for the period from 01.01.2005 to 15.02.2007.
2. The brief facts, as set out in the plaint, are as follows:
2.1. The plaintiff was appointed as Archakar for the Azhvar and Thesikar Sannathi in the defendant temple by the Executive Officer on 06.03.1999. The plaintiff's salary was fixed at Rs.25/- per day. Though the plaintiff was paid his salary upto December, 2004, from 01.01.2005 the defendant did not allow the plaintiff to sign the attendance register nor paid the salary due to the plaintiff. It was only due to the filing of a writ petition by the plaintiff regarding some malpractices and irregularities committed by the temple administration, the defendant stopped payment of salary to the plaintiff and not allowed him to sing the attendance register. Since the plaintiff is still in service, and he has not been terminated from service in the manner known to law, he is entitled to salary from 01.01.2005 to 15.02.2007 (till the filing of the suit).
3. The suit was contested by the defendant by denying the averments in the plaint. The irregularities committed by the plaintiff while he was in service earlier and subsequent to fresh appointment on 01.03.1999 were elaborated in the written statement. It was the specific case of the defendant that the plaintiff is entitled to salary only for the days on which he was doing service and that the defendant is not liable to pay any salary to the plaintiff for the days on which he was neither present nor signed the attendance register. Relying upon the specific directions of the Government regarding the date of superannuation for the persons who are engaged as Archakas, the defendant also contended that the plaintiff is not entitled to seek a declaration, as he has crossed the age long back.
4. The trial Court dismissed the suit specifically holding that the plaintiff who had not signed the attendance register from 25.01.2005 is not entitled to any relief. Though the plaintiff is entitled to a sum of Rs.625/- towards arrears of salary, the trial Court found that the plaintiff, who has refused to receive the amount when it was sent to him by money order, is not entitled to seek any relief before Court. The contention of the plaintiff that he was prevented from signing the attendance register was negatived by the trial Court. Aggrieved by the judgment and decree of the trial Court, the plaintiff preferred an appeal in A.S.No.91 of 2008 on the file of the Sub Court, Kumbakonam. Though the appellate Court came to the conclusion that the plaintiff has not proved his case that he was prevented from performing his duty or to sign the attendance register, on the basis of the specific admission that a sum of Rs.625/- is due towards arrears of salary for the actual number of days on which the plaintiff was engaged, found that the plaintiff is entitled to the said sum. Regarding the relief of declaration, the lower appellate Court was of the view that the plaintiff / appellant has not been terminated from service so far and that, therefore, he is deemed to be in service. Hence, the lower appellate Court modified the decree of trial Court by granting a declaratory relief without prejudice to the rights of the defendant temple to initiate disciplinary proceedings against the plaintiff and to pass any order depending upon the out come of the disciplinary proceedings. Aggrieved by the same, the plaintiff has preferred the present second appeal.
5. The plaintiff / appellant has raised the following questions of law in the memorandum of grounds:
(a) Whether in law, is not the lower Appellate Court wrong in restricting the consequential relief, after granting declaratory relief in favour of the appellant?
(b) Whether in law, are not the Courts below wrong in overlooking that once the appellant is entitled to declaration of his Archaka status, he is entitled to the salary?
(c) Whether in law have not the Court below failed to see that the appellant was not permitted to sign the attendance register in spite of performing his duties as Archaka and hence the denial of salary is illegal?
6. The trial Court as well as the appellate Court have negatived the contention of the plaintiff that he was prevented from attending work and to sign the attendance register. The documents filed by the defendant under Ex.B1, is the attendance register maintained by the temple for the relevant period. It is only from this document, the appellate Court also came to the conclusion that the plaintiff is entitled to a sum of Rs.625/- towards arrears of salary since he has attended work and performed service for some days.
7. Having regard to the specific finding by the Courts below on appreciation of evidence both oral and documentary, this Court in exercise of jurisdiction under Section 100 C.P.C. cannot interfere with the concurrent findings of Courts below. The Courts below have given valid reasons for their conclusions. The plaintiff who alleges that he was prevented from attending work has not produced any evidence to show that he made any representation by raising his voice at any point of time. This is also a circumstance, that was taken note of by the Courts below. The plaintiff was given salary for the days on which he was engaged or rendered his service as Archakar. Having regard to the findings of Courts below on proper appreciation of evidence and the admitted facts, the substantial questions of law raised by the appellant have no merits. Hence, the Second Appeal is dismissed. However, there is no order as to costs. Consequently, the connected miscellaneous petition is closed.