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Kashi Prasad Vs. Mt. Satwati and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1945All136
AppellantKashi Prasad
RespondentMt. Satwati and anr.
Excerpt:
- .....one of the allegations made in the plaint was that kashi prasad had appropriated some of the trust property, notably a house or part of it. the parties to the suit ultimately filed a compromise. before the learned judge had issued orders that it should be recorded and that a decree should be passed in terms of it, one lachhmi narain, a reversioner, put in objections that the compromise was unlawful. the learned judge held quite rightly that lachhmi narain had no locus standi. he was not even a beneficiary under the terms of the trust and at any rate he was no party to the suit. the learned judge, however, took it upon himself to decide whether the compromise was lawful or not. he was certainly entitled to decide this question because he could not record a compromise which was not.....
Judgment:

Allsop, J.

1. This appeal arises out of an order passed in a suit instituted on the allegation that the appellant Kashi Prasad had committed a breach of a private trust of which he was one of the trustees. The trust is said to have been created by means of a will executed by Ram Das, who died in the year 1924. Under the terms of this trust certain annuities were to be paid to Mt. Ram Piari, the widow of Ram Das, and Mt. Chiraunja, the widow of some other member of Ram Das's joint family, and a sum of Rs. 600 was to be spent on a school and on the upkeep of a grove. After the death of Mt. Ram Piari and Mt. Chiraunja their income was to go to Mt. Satwati, the daughter of Ram Das. As we have said, Kashi Prasad was one of the trustees. It was laid down by Ram Das that Mt. Satwati and her husband should also be trustees after Mt. Satwati's marriage. Mt. Satwati was married to a man called Ram Gopal, and the husband and wife instituted the suit for the removal of Kashi Prasad from his position as trustee and for an order that he should furnish accounts. One of the allegations made in the plaint was that Kashi Prasad had appropriated some of the trust property, notably a house or part of it. The parties to the suit ultimately filed a compromise. Before the learned Judge had issued orders that it should be recorded and that a decree should be passed in terms of it, one Lachhmi Narain, a reversioner, put in objections that the compromise was unlawful. The learned Judge held quite rightly that Lachhmi Narain had no locus standi. He was not even a beneficiary under the terms of the trust and at any rate he was no party to the suit. The learned Judge, however, took it upon himself to decide whether the compromise was lawful or not. He was certainly entitled to decide this question because he could not record a compromise which was not lawful, but it seems to us that he was not right in going into a question of fact which was not raised by the parties to the suit. If the compromise had, on the face of it, been unlawful, as for instance, if there had been some illegal consideration, the learned Judge might have refused to accept the compromise and might have passed an order that it was not to be recorded and the document by which it was evidenced was to be returned to the parties; but, in the present ease, all that the learned Judge found was that the parties had agreed that a house or part of a house, which he himself considered to be trust property, should be deemed to be the property of Kashi Prasad. On the face of it, there was nothing illegal in this agreement. If Mt. Satwati and her husband on the one side and Kashi Prasad on the other agreed that this building was not part of the trust property, it was no concern of the learned Judge. It was not for him to go into questions of fact and hold that the property was trust property. He has referred to the case in Sankaralinga Nadan v. Rajeswara Dorai 31 Mad. 236, but that was a case of a public trust in which the original plaintiffs were suing in a representative capacity. They entered into a compromise which would have bound all those they represented, and at that stage other members of the class whom they purported to represent applied to be made parties to the suit and the prayer was granted. Eventually it was held that the compromise should not be recorded. That case is not analogous to this one. This was a purely private dispute between Mt. Satwati and her husband on the one side and Kashi Prasad on the other. Any order that was passed would bind no one but the parties, and if Mt. Satwati and Ram Gopal agreed that some property claimed by Kashi Prasad was not trust property, that would make no difference to anybody else. It seems to us that the learned Judge went outside his province in deciding that the plaintiffs were giving away part of the trust property and for this reason the compromise was unlawful. As the learned Judge in his order directed that para. 4 of the compromise in which reference was made to this property should be struck off and expunged from the compromise, we must hold that he was wrong in passing this order. This is the order against which the present appeal has been instituted. It seems to us that there has been some misconception about the provisions of Rule 3 of Order 23. When a compromise or agreement has been set up, the Court must satisfy itself that it has been made, and once it has been made, it must be recorded, provided it is lawful on the face of it. But this does not mean that it must necessarily be embodied in a decree of the Court. It is a common mistake to overlook the last few words of the rule, which say that a decree shall be passed in accordance with the compromise only so far as it relates to the suit. If a compromise or agreement has been reduced to writing and the Court directs that the writing should be filed with the record that in our judgment means that the compromise has been recorded. Thereafter, it is for the Court to decide what form the decree will take. It is not proper to include in the decree any matters which are outside the scope of the suit. The Court may of course pass an order that the decree shall be drawn up in terms of the compromise so far as it relates to the suit, but it would then be for the decree-writer to see what effect the compromise had upon the suit and to draw up a formal decree accordingly. We mention this because we see that the decree in the suit in which the order was passed is in vague and unsatisfactory terms. We however cannot vary it because there has been no appeal against the decree itself. We set aside the order of the learned Judge that para. 4 of the compromise shall be expunged, and we direct that the compromise shall remain upon the record and shall be treated as having been recorded. It shall be for the learned Judge to consider whether the decree passed by him should be amended accordingly. We pass no order as to costs.


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