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Srimat Deivasikhamani Annamalai Desikar Vs. Rao Bahadur M. R. Govinda Rao - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectLimitation;Civil
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1923)ILR46Bom579
AppellantSrimat Deivasikhamani Annamalai Desikar
RespondentRao Bahadur M. R. Govinda Rao
Excerpt:
limitation act (ix of 1908), article 110 - defendant, both head of a mutt, and trustee, of a temple--defendant removed from trusteeship--plaintiff appointed receiver for management of temple--temple, owner of melvaram, mutt being owner of kudivaram--suit by receiver against defendant for arrears of melvaram due from mutt--arrears due during defendant's trusteeship for more than three years prior to suit--suit within three years of plaintiff's appointment--suit, whether barred--cause of action--limitation, when begins. - .....shown in his own accounts. 2. the only other point with which it is necessary to deal is the question of limitation. defendant as trustee of the temple and of the mutt united in himself the function of landlord and of tenant, and consequently could not bring a suit for rent against himself, on the principle that when the hand that receives and the hand that pays is the same no suit will lie for payment. it is contended for appellant that a suit might have been brought by some of the temple worshippers, but at any rate no such suit could be brought unless sanction was obtained, and until such sanction was obtained no suit would lie, and no particular person would be in a position to sue; until defendant was removed from his trusteeship he could not sue for the rent and there was no.....
Judgment:

1. There is absolutely no evidence worth the name of the alleged custom or implied contract that the devastanam, the melvaramdar, was responsible for collecting the melvaram from the subtenants, and that the kudivaramdar, i.e., the mutt, was not liable in any way. Failing proof of such a custom, the mutt, as kudivaramdar, is bound to pay the melvaram to the devastanam. This melvaram has only been paid in part, as shown by the accounts kept by defendant himself, and consequently the balance is due from the mutt. It does not lie with the defendant to question the quantum of arrears shown in his own accounts.

2. The only other point with which it is necessary to deal is the question of limitation. Defendant as trustee of the temple and of the mutt united in himself the function of landlord and of tenant, and consequently could not bring a suit for rent against himself, on the principle that when the hand that receives and the hand that pays is the same no suit will lie for payment. It is contended for appellant that a suit might have been brought by some of the temple worshippers, but at any rate no such suit could be brought unless sanction was obtained, and until such sanction was obtained no suit would lie, and no particular person would be in a position to sue; until defendant was removed from his trusteeship he could not sue for the rent and there was no other person who was in a position to do so. When there is no one competent to sue there can be no cause of action and consequently limitation cannot run, because there is no one against whom it can run [Vide Murray v. The East, India Company(1) (1821) 5 B & Aid 204; 106 E.R., 1167.]. Plaintiff, therefore, when he was appointed Receiver was the first person who had the right to sue and the question is whether his right is barred (except in regard to 3 years' rent) under Article 110, Limitation Act. Under that article the time from which period begins to run is "when the arrears become due." This time is usually the end of each fasli year, but the meaning of the words has been considered by the Privy Council in Mussumat Ranee Sumo Moyee v. Shooshee Mohhee Burmonia(2) (1868) 12 M.I.A., 24., and Rangayya Appa Rao v. Bobba Sriramulu(3) (1904) I.L.B, 27 Mad., 143, and it has been held that a quite different time may, in certain circumstances, be the time from which limitation begins to run. In this case, the arrears became due (applying the language in Rangayya Appa Rao v. Bobba Sriramulu (1904) I.L.B, 27 Mad., 143., as soon as there was some one to whom they were payable, who was capable of enforcing the obligation by suit. Holding as we do that defendant could not enforce the obligation by suit it was not until plaintiff was appointed that there was any cause of action in existence. Plaintiff's claim is therefore not barred The plea that the suit should have been brought in the Revenue Court is not supported by any evidence, and must be rejected. The appeal is dismissed with costs.


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