1. This appeal arises out of the decision in Sakharam v. Ganu (1920) 23 Bom. L.R. 125. In that case it was held that a suit brought by certain hereditary Pujaris of a temple near Chiplun against certain Guravs of the temple without compliance with the provisions of Section 92 of the Civil Procedure Code was barred by that section; but it was held that the dispute, which related to the respective rights of the parties to certain offerings at the temple, might be made the subject of an application to the District Court. This was in view of a scheme that had been framed for the management of this temple by a Devasthan Committee. At p. 128 a reference is made to Clause (2) of that scheme, under which the members of that Committee were to conduct the affairs of the Devasthan according to the long established usages thereof, and it is mentioned that the scheme contained no specific reservation for any application to add to, or alter the scheme. But at P. 132 the judgment says that, though no liberty to apply is reserved under the scheme, such a reservation could be implied. Shah J., with whom Crump J. agreed, accordingly held that the only remedy open to the parties under the circumstances was to have a direction from the District Court as to the offerings laid before the deity. It is also said that it is open to any one interested in the trust-fund to apply to the District Court, which framed the scheme, to supplement or modify the same. Again it is said that the respective rights of the parties was a matter which must be decided on evidence by the District Court on a proper application. Accordingly, an application was made to the District Court by the Pujaris against the Guravs. The District Judge, after hearing the parties, decided that the offerings should be divided in the proportion of sis to five between the Pujaris and the Guravs. An appeal against this decision was admitted by the Honourable Mr. Justice Coyajee on October 22, 1923. When the case first came on for hearing, it was adjourned in order that the members of the Devasthan Committee might also be joined as parties. This has been done and we have now heard all the parties to the appeal.
2. A preliminary objection has been taken by Mr. Shingne for the Guravs that no appeal lies from the decision of the District Judge. This is based upon the ruling of the Privy Council in the Dakore Temple case, Jeranchod v. Dakore Temple Committee : (1925)27BOMLR872 . Mr. Kane for the appellants contends that the order of the District Judge is one really relating to execution of the decree which laid down the scheme, and that it therefore falls under Section 47 of the Civil Procedure Code. If that is so, then, undoubtedly, an appeal would lie to this Court. Mr. Gharpure for the Devasthan Commitee supports Mr. Shingne's contention that no appeal lies.
3. This case, undoubtedly, differs in some respects from that which was before their Lordships of the Privy Council in the Dakore Temple case (Jeranchod v. Dakore Temple Committee : (1925)27BOMLR872 . In that case the scheme contained a distinct provision that certain rules should, when sanctioned by the District Court, have the same force as if they were part of the scheme. Accordingly, it was held that the rules when so sanctioned had final effect as part of the scheme and that no appeal lay to the High Court. The only power which this Court had was that conferred upon it by another clause of the scheme, under which it could, on an application, alter, modify or add to the scheme. That, however, was a power that had not, in fact, been exercised. On the other hand, the scheme in this case does undoubtedly contemplate that there should be some control by the District Judge in regard to the management of the temple. Thus under Clause (3) there has to be an annual audit of the accounts by an auditor appointed by the Subordinate Judge of Chiplun, and the auditor has to submit a report to the Subordinate Judge, who in turn has to transmit it with his remarks, if any, to the District Judge, who may file it or take such steps upon it as he thinks fit. There is, no doubt, no similar provision in regard to control of the District Judge in matters other than accounts, except as to the filling up of vacancies in the Devasthan Committee, which under Clause (1) has to be done by the District Judge after consulting the Subordinate Judge of Chiplun and certain other persons. But the scheme does, in my opinion, imply that the District Judge was also to exercise control generally in regard to any question of management that might properly be brought before him; and the judgment of the District Judge, which provides for the scheme (Exhbit 127) states that it merely embodies all the matters on which it appeared 'at present' necessary to give directions. The District Judge obviously contemplated that they might require supplementing in future.
4. This Court in Sakharam v. Ganu (1920) 23 Bom. L.R. 125 has held that the dispute in question can properly be put before the District Court, and we are bound by that view.
5. That being so, it seems to me that the District Court is the final authority in the matter of the dispute under the scheme, and that no appeal lies to this Court from, his decision. The case is analogous to one that might arise on the exercise of the power given to the District Judge to fill a vacancy in the Devasthan Committee. Would an appeal lie to this Court from such an appointment Barring any question that might legitimately arise as to the Judge not conforming to the provisions of the scheme as to the manner in which he was to fill vacancies, it seems to me clear that no such appeal would lie. A similar question was considered by the Madras High Court in Ranganatha Thathaohariar v. Krishnaswami Thathachariar I.L.R. (1924) 47 Mad. 139, and it was there held that such an order was not one falling under Section 47 of the Civil Procedure Code and that no appeal lay. In that case the decision of this High Court in Damodarbhat v. Bhogilal I.L.R. (1899) 24 Bom. 45, 1 Bom. L.R. 609, which was relied upon by Mr. Kane, was considered and distinguished. I concur generally in the view taken in Ranganatha's case. I think that this is not a case which can properly be brought under Section 47 of the Civil Procedure Code, It might have been different if the scheme had contained a precise direction that the offerings should be disposed of in a particular way. Then, there might be ground for saying that that direction was one which could be enforced in execution by any person interested, and that such a case fell under Section 47. But, in my opinion, it is impossible, in the present case, to hold that the decision of the District Judge relates to the execution of the decree framing the scheme. In the present case no legal point arises. The only question is whether the decision of the District Judge is justified on its merits, and I think it is clear that this Court in Sakharam v. Ganu contemplated that the decision of the District Court would be final. The decision of the Privy Council in the Dakore Temple case gives strong support to the view taken in Ranganatha Thathachariar v. Krishnaswami Thathachariar. Therefore, in my opinion, the preliminary objection is correct and I would dismiss the appeal.
6. Mr. Gharpure for the Committee objected that the District Judge had given his decision without making them parties or giving them an opportunity of being heard. His contention is that the offerings should, in any case, first be at the disposal of the Committee, who should distribute them in accordance with the District Judge's order. That, however, is a point which we cannot now go into. The Committee, if so advised, can move the District Judge in the matter and get him to consider their contention.
7. As the appeal fails, it must be dismissed with costs.
8. Appeal dismissed with costs (one set of costs only to be paid to the Devasthan Committee). Cross-objections dismissed.
9. I agree.