1. The subject-matter of this first appeal is a large estate in the District of Cawnpore known as the Rawetpur estate. It has been in existence for some generations and consists of over .ten villages and the profits that arise out of the estate are said to be Rs. 25,000 per annum if not more. From generation to generation the estate has descended entire from father to eldest son to the exclusion of other sons. In this way, it descended to Rewet Randhir Singh in the year 1872. Rewet Randhir Singh died and within 4 days of his death, his son Rewet Sheo Singh also died. There was now left no direct male descendant of either Rewet Randhir Singh and Rewet Sheo Singh and the estate passed into the hands of Musammat Baghelin, widow of Rewet Sheo Singh. From 1873 to 1891, theestate remained in charge of the Court of Wards. In 1891 it was released from the management of the Court of Wards.
2. No sooner had it been released from the management than Rewatain Baghelin began to transfer the property right and left, some of it in favour of her brother Rampel Singh, but by far the larger portion of it, viz., 18 villages, she set aside for the purposes of a temple and a pathshala, and in the deed whereby she set aside this property for the above purposes, she provided that she should have the management of it for her life and after her death, it should be managed by her brother and his descendants.
3. She also constituted a committee of five trustees, who were to look after the management of the trust. She reserved only 5 villages for the maintenance of her mother-in-law Musammat Janwarin and herself and even these five villages she subsequently transferred. Shortly after this, i.e., in December 1895, she died. Upon her death, Rewatain Janwarin appears to have succeeded to the estate.
4. No opposition appears to have been made by any of the transferees of Rewatain Baghelin.
5. On 8th March 1898, Rewatain Janwarin is said to have made a Will confirming the endowments made by her daughter-in-law but removing from the management Rampal Singh and substituting in his place Pandit Raja Ram, one of the appellants before us. She appointed him the sole trustee and directed that the trusteeship should descend in his family. Having divested herself of the whole of estate of Rawetpur in favour of this trust, she died in the year 1899. At the time of her death Sirnet Singh, who is a lineal descendant of Rawat Kharag Rai, the ancestor from whom in a direct line came Rawat Randhir Singh and Rawat Sheo Singh, was alive. This man was treated by Raja Ram as next reversioner to the estate of Rawat Sheo Singh.
6. We need not go into the reasons why Sirnet Singh was believed to be and treated as the next reversioner to the estate of Rawat Sheo Singh.
7. It is sufficient to note that he was so believed and treated. He is now dead.
8. The main respondent to this appeal Thakurain Sheo Rani Kuer is his daughter.
9. She has laid claim to the Rawatpur estate and with her are arrayed certain other persons to whom she has made assignments of the property for the purposes of raising funds to enable her to make this claim.
10. Thus in the Court of the Subordinate Judge of Cawnpore, there is at the present moment a claim to the estate made by Thakurain Sheo Rani Kuer and her assignees as against Pandit Raja Ram Shastri and Pandit Babu Ram Shastri, who are described as managers of Ram Liloy Thakurji Mahraj, the idol in whose honour and for whose benefit the Rawatpur estate was by Rewatain Janwarin set aside. The plaintiff, here respondent, applied to the Subordinate Judge of Cawnpore for the appointment of a receiver over the property. The application was severely contested, but the Subordinate Judge in a very well considered judgment came to the conclusion that the prayer should be granted and did accordingly grant it.
11. The main reasons that prevailed with the Subordinate Judge were that so far as he could see without prejudging the case, the plaintiff had a prima facie strong claim. The estate at stake was large and the profits were large. The management of the defendant even before had been challenged and in the course of these proceedings it appeared that there were no accounts kept of the management and that there was considerable laxity regarding vouchers, connected with expenditure. The Subordinate Judge appointed the Collector of Cawnpore as receiver and the present appeal is from his order making that appointment. The order is made under Order XL, Rule 1, of Civil Procedure Code, 1908. It is there laid down that whenever it appears to the Court to be just and convenient, the Court may by an order appoint a Receiver of any property, whether before or after the decree.
12. What then we have to consider is whether it is both just and convenient in this case at this stage that a Receiver should be appointed. The order is attacked on the following grounds:
(1) That there has been great delay made by the plaintiff in filing this suit.
(2) That the alleged adoption of her father Sarnet Singh by Nahar Singh never took place.
13. These two objections are supplemented by a general objection to the effect that the order was not justified and that the circumstances did not call for the appointment of a receiver.
14. We have been addressed at great length both on behalf of the appellant and on behalf of the respondent and a great deal of the arguments addressed to us have been in the shape of an attack by the one side on the title set up by the plaintiff and on the other side on the ground that in the first place a trust such as that alleged to have been created by Musammat Janwarin is not sanctioned by Hindu Law and. secondly, if it was, it has come to an end with the death of Musammat Janwarin. We do not propose to go into the questions involved in these controversies. Our duty, it appears to us, is to take a broad view of the circumstances alleged on both sides and to see how far it is just and convenient that a receiver should be appointed.
15. Regarding the question of convenience, there can be little room for doubt. When an estate like the present one in dispute has come down as an impartible Raj from generation to generation practically unimpaired and solid as it originally was and has now passed into the hands of priests appointed for the carrying out of certain religious and charitable bequests, the expenses of which are set out as Rs. 4,000 annually and there remains a balance of Rs. 21,000 per year, which seems to have been spent without much regard to method or account keeping, it is beyond all doubt convenient that a person like the Collector of Cawnpore should be appointed to preserve the property pending the litigation which is to decide the rights of the litigating parties. The position of the estate is in one way peculiar. Those who now Jay claim to it have never been in enjoyment of it. They have only had to stand, so to speak, on the outside. Those who are now in occupation of the estate are likewise parties, who prior to the making of the alleged trust deed by Rewatains Baghelin and Janwarin, were also persona who have not been in possession.
16. The expenses necessary for the purposes of the trust are small.
17. The profits of the estate are large and it is undoubtedly convenient that whilst the dispute is pending the property should be in charge of an independent person like the Collector of Cawnpore.
18. The only real difficulty which we are met with is that the appellants have been in possession for the last 10 or 12 years.
19. In considering this matter, we have to remember the opinion of the Court of First Instance, which is entitled to great weight. It had all the facts and the parties before it and it was in a far better position to decide whether having regard to the circumstances of the case, it was just that a receiver should be appointed. That Court has come to the conclusion that a receiver should be appointed. It was for the appellants to show that that Court exercised its discretion improperly. In our opinion they have failed to do this. This being so, we are not prepared to interfere with the discretion exercised by the Court below. We dismiss the appeal with costs, which in this Court will include fees on the higher scale.
20. The question as to whether the costs are to be defrayed by the appellants personally or from the estate will be a matter for decision of the Court below when it passes its decree in the original suit.