Lallubhai Shah, Acting C.J.
1. The plaintiff in this case sued as the Manager of the temple of Shri Narayan Dev of Ankola to recover certain amounts due on three mortgage bonds mentioned in the plaint. The claim was to enforce the mortgage bonds by sale of the mortgaged property. Defendants Nos. 1 and 2 at the date of the suit were purchasers of the equity of redemption in some of these lands, and defendant No. 4 was the Court purchaser of the interest of the original mortgagor in some lands, which need not be detailed. Defendant No. 3 was joined, as he was said to be the Muktesar of this temple appointed by the Temple Committee. The plaintiff stated in the plaint that the members of his family had been managers of the said temple from times immemorial, and that the money was advanced in that capacity to the original mortgagor by his grand-father, Shrinivas Sajroba. The defendant No. 3, the Muktesar, did not appear. Defendants Nos. 1 and 2 and defendant No. 4 raised several contentions. They contended that the plaintiff had not the right to maintain the suit. They also contended that the claim on the mortgage-bond was time-barred, and that the suit lands were not the lands originally mortgaged by the owner.
2. The trial Court found that the three mortgages in suit, one of 1869 and two of 1870, were proved. It also held that the plaintiff's claim was in time; that the lands in suit were the lands mortgaged; and that defendants Nos. 1 and 2 were agriculturists. As there was some doubt in the course of the suit as to whether the plaintiff claimed money for his own benefit or for the benefit of the temple, a Purshis was taken from him whereby he made his position clear. In the result the Court passed a decree against defendants Nos. 1, 2 and 4 and in favour of the plaintiff as Vahivatdar of the temple of Shri Narayan Dev of Ankola, for payment of Rs. 433-5-0, and interest on Rs. 318 at ten per cent. from the date of suit by yearly instalments of Rs. 75 payable every year in December beginning from 1920.
3. Defendants Nos. 1 and 2 did not appeal from this decree, but defendant No. 4 appealed to the District Court. The learned District Judge, without going into the question relating to the merits of the claim, has dismissed the plaintiff's suit on the ground that the plaintiff claimed the money for his own benefit, and that the present claim was in effect adverse to the temple. The learned Judge was of opinion that the plaintiff could not maintain the suit as he was not A trustee, and as he was suing avowedly on his own account.
4. The plaintiff has appealed to this Court, and the first question that arises in appeal is whether the view of the lower appellate Court is right on the question as to whether the plaintiff was entitled to maintain the suit. It seems to us that the view of the lower appellate Court is not right The plaintiff has sued in terms as Manager of the temple of Shri Narayan Dev of Ankola, and he has also stated in the plaint that the members of his family have been managers of the said temple from times immemorial. The plaintiff's grandfather has been described in the plaint as Manager of the temple. Defendant No. 1 admits that the plaintiff is the Manager of the temple, and against this there is no evidence in the case to show that the plaintiff is not the Manager of the temple.
5. The whole difficulty has arisen in consequence of the plaintiff having stated in the plaint that in fact he had spent certain moneys on the temple, and that he would be entitled to recover from the temple those sums. He also stated in the plaint that defendant No. 3 had no connection whatever with the management, and that he was appointed Muktesar for the purpose of recovering the cash amount due to the idol from the Government. It is true, as pointed out by the District Judge, that the plaintiff does put forward a certain claim against the temple. That, however, is a matter which is foreign to the scope of this suit, and is really outside the controversy between the plaintiff as representing the temple and the defendants who have to satisfy the claim under the mortgages. We think, therefore, that there is no reason to defeat the plaintiff's claim on this technical ground, particularly when the trial Court has made it clear in the decree that the plaintiff is to recover the amount as Vahivatdar of the Shri Narayan Temple of Ankola.
6. [The judgment next proceeded to deal with matters not pertinent to this report.]