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Shyam Lal Vs. Hira Nath Chela - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty;Civil
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1934All685; 153Ind.Cas.479
AppellantShyam Lal
RespondentHira Nath Chela
Excerpt:
- - situation however has improved a good deal by the fact that hira nath is dead and, at the present moment at any rate, the idol is represented by the successor of hira nath namely mahant shyam nath. the plea was distinctly, raised in the written statement of the idol that the transaction was not for lawful necessity. the finding is very properly against the plaintiff-appellant and the appeal must fail......established in dehra dun through one mahant hira nafch. the suit had originally been led against hira nath alone, but on the objection of hira nath, the idol was made the defendant, and hira nath was described as the mahant representing the idol. shortly, the plaintiff's case was this. on 23rd may 1908, hira nath, as the mahant and manager of the temple of nageshwar mahadeo, executed in favour of one shyam lal, son of tika ram, a lease in respect of a certain area of land for a period of 30 years, the successor in title of the lessee, shyam lal, son of tika ram, granted a sub-lease to the plaintiff, who is also known as shyam lal, on 28th september 1920. the plaintiff was in possession, but the defendant wag interfering with his possession and therefore the prayer was fore declaration.....
Judgment:

Mukerji, J.

1. The suit out of which this appeal has arisen was instituted by the plaintiff against an idol, Nageshwar Mahadeo, established in Dehra Dun through one Mahant Hira Nafch. The suit had originally been led against Hira Nath alone, but on the objection of Hira Nath, the idol was made the defendant, and Hira Nath was described as the Mahant representing the idol. Shortly, the plaintiff's case was this. On 23rd May 1908, Hira Nath, as the Mahant and manager of the temple of Nageshwar Mahadeo, executed in favour of one Shyam Lal, son of Tika Ram, a lease in respect of a certain area of land for a period of 30 years, The successor in title of the lessee, Shyam Lal, son of Tika Ram, granted a sub-lease to the plaintiff, who is also known as Shyam Lal, on 28th September 1920. The plaintiff was in possession, but the defendant wag interfering with his possession and therefore the prayer was fore declaration of title, including a declaration that under the terms of the lease, the lease was renewable for another period of 30 years, recovery of a sum of Rs. 90 as mesne profits and for a perpetual injunction.

2. The idol, who on the amendment of the plaint is the sole defendant, contended that the property belonged to him and that Hira Nath could not make a transfer of the same without legal necessity. A further plea was taken that the suit was not cognizable by the Civil Court. Both the Courts below held that the suit was cognizable by the Civil Court on the ground that the prayer for injunction could not be granted by the Revenue Court. They further held that the transaction was not for the benefit of the idol and therefore was not binding on him. The suit was accordingly dismissed.

3. In this Court on behalf of the respondents the plea of want of jurisdiction in the Civil Court has been urged in support of the decrees of the Courts below. It is therefore necessary to consider this point before the merits are examined. There can be no doubt that under Section 230, Tenancy Act, 1926, if adequate relief could be granted by the Revenue Court, it would be immaterial that the relief asked for from the Civil Court is not identical with that which the Revenue Court could have granted. Thus if a suit be in its essence cognizable by a Revenue Court, the addition, say a prayer for injunction, will not take the case out of the cognizance of that Court. The ground therefore upon which the Courts below proceeded is not tenable.

4. The allegation of the plaintiff is that he is a sub-tenant of the defendant and the defendant has either dispossessed or threatens to dispossess him. Sections 99 and 121, Tenancy Act, 1926, deal with oases where a tenant sues his own land-holder. They do not appear to contemplate a suit by a sub-tenant against the original landlord through whom the plaintiff's own land-holder claims. In this view the suit could not be maintained in the Revenue Court. At any rate, as at present advised, I do not see that I am entitled to direct that the plaint should be returned for presentation to the proper Court.

5. Coming to the merits of the case I have to remark at the outset that when the idol was made the defendant n the suit, the Courts below should have taken care that it was represented by a person other than Mahant Hira Nath. No doubt Hira Nath tried to defend the title of the idol who was in his sole charge against his own actions. This was a difficult duty to perform. Hira Nath really impeached his own alienation and his own transfer on the ground that he had transferred the idol's property and he had no right to do it. Situation however has improved a good deal by the fact that Hira Nath is dead and, at the present moment at any rate, the idol is represented by the successor of Hira Nath namely Mahant Shyam Nath.

6. The position of the Manager of a temple and the property of an idol in it has been compared to the position of a guardian towards a minor. The plaintiff claimed relief against an idol who is in the position of a minor on the ground that the idol's guardian had acted in a particular way. The mere fact that the guardian of an idol or a minor has acted in a particular way is not conclusive of the fact that his act is binding on the minor or the idol. Therefore it would be for the party who wants to take advantage of a certain act of the Manager against a minor or an idol to establish to the satisfaction of the Court that the| transaction was a fair one so far as the minor or idol is concerned.

7. To start with, the lease was for a term of 30 years on the same rent and the lease was renewable for another term of 30 years with a nominal enhancement of the rent. Why the Manager of an idol should enter into such a long term transaction has not been explained. 60 years, indeed, is a long period and even if the land leased be originally waste land covered by long grasses or wild trees, it is probable that the land would be reclaimed within a few years and would increase in value. The Courts below have found that the income from the property at the time of the suit was between Rs. 400 and Rs. 500 and the rent fixed was only Rs. 30 a year. Mr. Ghatak on behalf of the appellant has contended that there was no clear issue to enable him to adduce evidence on this point; but he is not quite correct. The plea was distinctly, raised in the written statement of the idol that the transaction was not for lawful necessity. As I have already pointed out, it was for the plaintiff to establish the bona fides of the transaction and it was for him to show that the transaction; was one which bound the idol. Issue 1, framed by the learned Subordinate Judge related to legal necessity and that was a sufficient warning to the plaintiff as to: what he had to prove. The learned District Judge also framed an issue as regards legal necessity. The term 'legal necessity' may not be strictly applicable to the circumstances of this case, but I have not the slightest doubt that it was for the plaintiff to make out a proper case before the Court and to satisfy it that the transaction was above board and was binding on a minor or an idol. The finding is very properly against the plaintiff-appellant and the appeal must fail. The appeal is accordingly hereby dismissed with costs. Mr. Ghatak asks for leave to appeal, but it is refused.


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