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Baba Suraj Gir and ors. Vs. B. Bramh NaraIn Advocate and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
Subject Trusts and Societies; Civil
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1946All148
AppellantBaba Suraj Gir and ors.
RespondentB. Bramh NaraIn Advocate and ors.
Excerpt:
- - 2. now, to paraphrase it, what that relief amounts to is a claim that, so far as the mahantship or managership or trusteeship (whatever you like to call it) is concerned, the scheme settled by the court in 1983 is all wrong and must either be varied or over-ridden altogether. we are satisfied that the substance of the plaintiffs' claim here is to have the set of managers or trustees appointed by the scheme removed and themselves appointed in their place......civil p.c., a stranger may come in for the purpose of asserting a title which is paramount to the trust altogether and in that sense he may claim to have the whole scheme displaced upon the ground that there never ought to have been a scheme at all because the property was never the subject of a trust for charitable or religious purposes. that, however, is a very different thing from what has happened here. here it is common ground that the trust is a trust for public religious purposes. it is common ground that the scheme settled by the court in 1933 was a valid and legally proper scheme under section 92, civil p.c. what in reality the plaintiff-appellants seek to do is either to have that scheme varied or else to have it over-ridden altogether. looked at in that way, we think that the.....
Judgment:

Braund, J.

1. This is a first appeal from the Court of the learned Civil Judge of Bareilly. We can, we think, deal with the matter briefly since the appeal can be disposed of on a short point. The suit related to a temple in the outskirts of Bareilly, called the Alakhnath Mahadeo Temple. The plaintiffs came to the Court and by their pleadings have set out a long devolution of the mahantship of this temple going back, as the learned Judge himself says, to times of considerable antiquity. But whether these allegations be right or wrong, we think that they become immaterial in view of certain proceedings which were begun in 1930 and resulted in a scheme being settled for the administration of this temple by the Court under Section 92, Civil P.C. The decree in those proceedings was made in 1933 and under it a scheme was settled by which the present defendant-respondents were constituted by the Court a committee of management, or, in other words, trustees, for the purpose of administering this public religious trust. We should say at this point that it is common ground between the parties that the temple and its property do constitute a trust for public purposes of a religious nature. The plaintiffs in the suit in 1937, conceiving for various reasons, that they were the true and lawful mahants or managers of this property, took the law into their own hands and ousted the defendant-respondents from possession, without any regard, it seems, to the fact that the defendant-respondents had been placed in possession by the Court. Whether these proceedings constituted a contempt of Court is now neither here nor there. The next step was that the committee of management, who, of course, are the defendant respondents, took proceedings under Section 9, Specific Relief Act, to recover possession upon the footing that they had been dispossessed without their consent otherwise than in due course of law. They succeeded in those proceedings under the Specific Belief Act and obtained an order from the Civil Judge of Bareilly for possession to be restored. That was the signal for the present plaintiff-appellants to start the suit out of which this appeal arises. It was started as the only effective means of counter-attacking that they had left in view of the Court's order under Section 9, Specific Relief Act. And, as we have said earlier in this judgment, having set out a long history of the devolution of what they alleged to be the true mahantship of this temple, they eventually traced it to themselves and claimed a declaration that they and the other members of their particular community had a right to manage and control the temple arid in effect all the lands and endowments that went with it.

2. Now, to paraphrase it, what that relief amounts to is a claim that, so far as the mahantship or managership or trusteeship (whatever you like to call it) is concerned, the scheme settled by the Court in 1983 is all wrong and must either be varied or over-ridden altogether. It is in substance a claim to have a fresh set of trustees substituted for the trustees appointed by the scheme, if not, to have the schema torn up altogether. We can readily understand, that, even when a scheme has been settled by the Court under Section 92, Civil P.C., a stranger may come in for the purpose of asserting a title which is paramount to the trust altogether and in that sense he may claim to have the whole scheme displaced upon the ground that there never ought to have been a scheme at all because the property was never the subject of a trust for charitable or religious purposes. That, however, is a very different thing from what has happened here. Here it is common ground that the trust is a trust for public religious purposes. It is common ground that the scheme settled by the Court in 1933 was a valid and legally proper scheme under Section 92, Civil P.C. What in reality the plaintiff-appellants seek to do is either to have that scheme varied or else to have it over-ridden altogether. Looked at in that way, we think that the answer to the whole suit is obvious. The learned Civil Judge at points in his judgment came near to the same solution, but he did not actually reach it. Sub-section (2) of Section 92, Civil P.C., provides that:

Save as provided by the Religious Endowments Act, 1863, no suit claiming any of the reliefs specified in Sub-section (1) shall be instituted in respect of any such trust as is therein referred to except in conformity with the provisions of that sub-section.

3. There is authority for saying that in matters of this kind one must look at the substance of what is being dealt with. We are satisfied that the substance of the plaintiffs' claim here is to have the set of managers or trustees appointed by the scheme removed and themselves appointed in their place. In the alternative, their object is to have the scheme over-ridden altogether. In either case it is in our view clear that the plaintiffs could not possibly have that done except by the machinery of Section 92, Civil P.C. It only requires stating, we think, to be immediately clear that it would be an intolerable position if it were open to one Court in effect to set aside or vary a scheme settled by another Court under Section 92, Civil P.C., otherwise than in accordance with the proper machinery under that section. We do not doubt that in a proper case it would be possible to vary the scheme or even possibly to rule it out of existence altogether and to make, a new one. But that would surely have to be done under the section under which it originally came into existence and by an application of some kind or other made to the Court that originally sanctioned the scheme.

4. There is authority for the view we have taken. In Ramadas v. Hanumantha Rao ('13) 36 Mad. 364 a very similar question arose and a Bench of the Madras Court decided it in a sense which, we think, entirely covers the case now before us. Their Lordships said that a scheme framed under Section 92, Civil P.C., was binding on everyone (whether a worshipper or not) including even one who might have claimed an hereditary trusteeship and have brought a suit to enforce such a right before the settlement of the scheme. And they said, moreover, that a decree framing a scheme was a bar to a suit by such a person, even though the denial of such a right of suit might act prejudicially to his interest and even though his application to be made a party to the suit in which the scheme was framed had previously been rejected. That, we think, is exactly the position here. The same point is covered, though less directly, in Sukharam Daji v. Ganu Raghu ('21) 8 A.I.R. 1921 Bom. 297. For these reasons we think that it is not necessary for us to go into the facts since the appellant-plaintiffs can never in this suit establish the relief they seek. That relief is in effect inconsistent with the scheme which has been settled - a scheme by which they are themselves bound. If they had rights as they claim - we do not wish to be taken as deciding that they have - their remedy was to have asserted them by taking the proper steps in the Court which has seizin of the scheme. What they cannot do is in another Court to raise a claim which is inconsistent with and hostile to the scheme. This appeal must be dismissed with costs.


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