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Mahant Narasinhdas Guru Sitaram Das and anr. Vs. Khanderao Vinayak Joshi and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtMumbai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in70Ind.Cas.860
AppellantMahant Narasinhdas Guru Sitaram Das and anr.
RespondentKhanderao Vinayak Joshi and ors.
Excerpt:
hindu law - sudra sanyasi, succession to. - - 4. then, with regard to the pandhari nath temple that clearly was gifted by tulsidas in his will to onkardas with powers of management and a direction to make a will in respect of all the moveable and immoveable property in favour of his sons, and if he did not get married, then he was to adopt a boy and make him a chela......the object of tulsidas was to arrange after his decease for the continual management of the temple, onkardas married but had no son, nor did he adopt, and after his death in 1904 the property came to the management of his widow. she disposed of a considerable portion of it, as it is alleged, for necessity. but whether those alienations were for necessity or not it is difficult to say where tae title of the plaintiff to succeed to those properties is derived from. the plaintiff alleges that he is a guru (sic), that he was the spiritual heir of onkardas, aid, therefore, entitled to succeed to the property. but onkardas does not come within any of those parsons whose property goes to their spiritual heirs. that question was considered in ramdas gopaldas v. baldeodas kaushalyadas 26.....
Judgment:

1. These are two suits filed by the plaintiff claiming to recover certain properties by virtue of his title as Mahant of the Panchmukhi Hanuman Santhan at Bhuleswar, Bombay, and as Guru Bandhu of one Onkardas who died in 1904-05. Both suits have been dismissed. There was one judgment in both suits, and one judgment in the appeals in the Court below. The questions at issue are mostly questions of fact. The properties in question are (1) the Laxminarayan temple with the property said to be dedicated for the endowment thereof, and (a) the Pandhrnath temple with its endowment, both situated at Chandansar in the Thana District.

2. Admittedly, on the findings of the Court below these properties were in the ownership or management of Tulsidas who appears in the pedigree at page 1. By his Will of 1898, he left these properties to Onkardas. Owing to their nature he would naturally give to Onkardas limited authority, that is to say, Onkardas had no power to sell the properties but only the authority to manage the properties and maintain the idol.

3. With regard to the Laxminarayan property it was suggested that that property had been gifted to the plaintiff by the original founder Mahant Anant Narayan Naik. The only proof of that fact lies in what is said by Tulsidas in Exhibit 89, the Will of 1898 in which he says that Anant Narayan had removed his right of ownership and had gifted it to the Mahant Damodardas Jamandas the Pujari of the idol of Shri five-faced Maruti in the city of Bombay. Such a statement would confer no title on the Mahant or his successors, and it seems difficult to us to understand how the question came to be raised in the Court below, whether the description in the Will of Tulsidas that certain properties were gifted to the Mahant of Panchmukhi Hanuman was or was not admissible in evidence. The question is not whether it is admissible, but what is its effect. It is a mere statement. That could not result in any transfer of property, nor by itself could it possibly prove that the property had been gifted to the Mahant. But treating it from the point of view of admissibility the Judge was probably right in holding that it was not admissible. The plaintiff suing for possession must prove his title, and he cannot point to any evidence which directly shows that Anant transferred the property in this temple to his predecessor.

4. Then, with regard to the Pandhari Nath temple that clearly was gifted by Tulsidas in his Will to Onkardas With powers of management and a direction to make a Will in respect of all the moveable and immoveable property in favour of his sons, and if he did not get married, then he was to adopt a boy and make him a Chela. Evidently, the object of Tulsidas was to arrange after his decease for the continual management of the temple, Onkardas married but had no son, nor did he adopt, and after his death in 1904 the property came to the management of his widow. She disposed of a considerable portion of it, as it is alleged, for necessity. But whether those alienations were for necessity or not it is difficult to say where tae title of the plaintiff to succeed to those properties is derived from. The plaintiff alleges that he is a Guru (sic), that he was the spiritual heir of Onkardas, aid, therefore, entitled to succeed to the property. But Onkardas does not come within any of those parsons whose property goes to their spiritual heirs. That question was considered in Ramdas Gopaldas v. Baldeodas Kaushalyadas 26 Ind. Cas. 607 : 39 B. 168 : 16 bom. L.R. 757 where the Chief Justice refers, to the passage in the Mitakshara, Chapter II, Section 8, para. 2, which deals with succession to the property of Sanyasi.

5. Then in Dharmapuram Pandara Sannadhi v. Virapandiyam Pillai 22 M. 302 : 8 Ind. Dec.215 it was held that all the authorities were in favour of the proposition that a Sudra could not enter the order of Yathi or Sanyasi, so that the devolution of property left by a deceased, person of the caste referred to, who has become an ascetic and renounced the world is regulated by the ordinary law of inheritance, in the absence of proof of any general or special usage to the contrary.

6. The parties here are Sudras, and no attempt was made to prove any general or special usage to the contrary, so that the result, would necessarily follow that the devolution of property left by Onkardas would proceed according to the ordinary law of inheritance, and would, therefore, go to his heirs and the plaintiff as spiritual heir would have no right whatever to interfere with them. The result must be that both the appeals are dismissed with costs.


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