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Murlidhar and ors. Vs. Dewan Chand and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Judge
Reported inAIR1916All352; 32Ind.Cas.945
AppellantMurlidhar and ors.
RespondentDewan Chand and ors.
Excerpt:
will, construction of - trust. - .....and the observance of the religious festivals and has so far decreed the claim, holding that the house can be sold subject to the charge. the defendants appeal. the case really turns upon the view we shall lake as to the true construction of the will we have mentioned. it will be seen at once that he draws a sharp contrast between the two houses. one he leaves absolutely to subrai. he places no restriction on subrai dealing with the house left to him as he should think fit. idols of the various deities had been set up in different parts of the second house. it is absolutely clear that if a muhammadan or a christian or even a hindu other than a brahman became the purchaser of this house, such purchaser could not possibly carry out the provisions of the will. the chief profits that would.....
Judgment:

1. This appeal arises out of a suit in which the plaintiffs sought a declaration that a certain house was the property of defendant No. 3 and was liable to be sold in execution of the decree against him. It appears that at one time the house belonged to a man called Krishna Aiyar, a Brahman Madrasee. He made a Will dated the 7th of September 1886, in which he dealt with a considerable amount of property. The Will-recited that he had two nephews Ganpati and Subrai. His Will provided that after his death Subrai should be the absolute owner of one of two houses he mentioned in his Will. The Will then proceeds: 'In the other dwelling house consisting of three sections of thakurdwara including staircase both the executors aforesaid should reside, put up pilgrims and attend on them jointly and from the income thereof to daily perform the usual worship of the gods Murlidhar, Raj Rajeshri and Mahadeo and the worship on Basant Panchmi, Ram Naumi, Janam Ashtami, Nauratra, Shivaratri, Dhanurmas, and Saun festivals and to look after its repairs. After this is done both the executors should make a receipt and disbursement account of the income annually and after deducting the above expenses should divide the profits between them in half and half and should grant receipts and acquittances as between themselves.... None of the executors shall in any way be entitled to transfer, mortgage or sell this house, and if they do so it will be utterly null and void. In this connection the members of my community and everybody shall be entitled, whenever they come to know that either of these persons or their heirs have in any way sold the said house, to make aft application immediately and get the transfer set aside.' The house with which the present suit is conversant is this last mentioned house. The lower Court has held that the defendants, or the persons who represent the original devisees, hold the house subject to a charge for the worship of the gods and the observance of the religious festivals and has so far decreed the claim, holding that the house can be sold subject to the charge. The defendants appeal. The case really turns upon the view we shall lake as to the true construction of the Will we have mentioned. It will be seen at once that he draws a sharp contrast between the two houses. One he leaves absolutely to Subrai. He places no restriction on Subrai dealing with the house left to him as he should think fit. Idols of the various deities had been set up in different parts of the second house. It is absolutely clear that if a Muhammadan or a Christian or even a Hindu other than a Brahman became the purchaser of this house, such purchaser could not possibly carry out the provisions of the Will. The chief profits that would arise to the nephews of the testator and their descendants would probably be the gifts which would be made by the pilgrims. In other words, the nephews would profit by the opportunity of getting offerings from the pilgrims. These offerings would, of course, be personal to themselves. In our opinion the Will created a trust. The only beneficial interest given under the Will to the nephews was the right to take the surplus profits, if any, after the worship had been performed and the festivals duly observed. We have no reason for holding, under the circumstances of the present case, that the bequest was merely colourable and that the intention of the testator was in reality to confer an absolute interest free from any trust upon his nephews. Some point has been made with the Court below upon the dealings with the property by the two nephews. In our opinion such dealings can in no way affect the question which we have to decide, namely, as to whether the nephews took the house as a trust or for their own benefit. The facts of the present case closely resemble the facts in the case of Benode Behari Mullick v. Sita Ram Naik Daji Kalia 1 Ind. Cas. 666; 6 A.L.J. 444 and in the case of Debnarain Boss v. Sreemutty Comulmonee Dossee 20 W.R. 39. We allow the appeal, set aside the decree of the Court below and dismiss the plaintiffs' suit with costs in both Courts including in this Court-fees on the higher scale.


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