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B. Gurmanj Saran Vs. Radha Swami Sat Sang Sabha - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies
CourtAllahabad
Decided On
Reported inAIR1936All759; 165Ind.Cas.721
AppellantB. Gurmanj Saran
RespondentRadha Swami Sat Sang Sabha
Excerpt:
- .....the two sections of the believers in the radhaswami religion. these two sections are known as the dayal bagh and the swami bagh sections. according to the believers in the radhaswami faith, there is always some person who is the incarnation of the deity. the dispute between the two sections is about the identity of this person at the present time. the person who is the incarnation of the deity is known as a guru. there have been a number of former gurus some of whom were accepted as such by all the followers of this faith. the ashes of one of these accepted gurus are in a building or place in agra. this building or place has been in possession of the representatives of the swami bagh section for a number of years. in 1923 two members of the dayal bagh section made an application to the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Allsop, J.

1. This is an application in revision asking that three orders passed by the District Magistrate of Agra should be set aside. These orders were passed as a result of a dispute between the two sections of the believers in the Radhaswami religion. These two sections are known as the Dayal Bagh and the Swami Bagh sections. According to the believers in the Radhaswami faith, there is always some person who is the incarnation of the deity. The dispute between the two sections is about the identity of this person at the present time. The person who is the incarnation of the deity is known as a guru. There have been a number of former gurus some of whom were accepted as such by all the followers of this faith. The ashes of one of these accepted gurus are in a building or place in Agra. This building or place has been in possession of the representatives of the Swami Bagh section for a number of years. In 1923 two members of the Dayal Bagh section made an application to the District Judge alleging that the persons in possession of this building or place were holding it as trustees and asking that they should be directed under the provisions of the Charitable and Religious Trusts Act to furnish accounts. The reply was that there was no trust and that the persons in possession were not trustees. The result was a suit under the provisions of the Act instituted by the persons in possession in order to obtain a declaration that there was no trust. This suit was dismissed by the Subordinate Judge and his decision was upheld by the Hon'ble High Court in the year 1929.

2. Thereafter on 12th June of that year some members of the Dayal Bagh section made an application to the District Magistrate asking for assistance to enable them to perform a certain ceremony known as a bhandara in the building or place where the ashes were kept. On the 22nd June the District Magistrate passed an order that it was obvious from the decision of the High Court that the Dayal Bagh section was as much entitled to use the place or building (known as a Samadh) as the other section for the purpose of religious ceremonies and otherwise. The Swami Bagh section instituted an appeal before their Lordships of the Privy Council and it was held in that appeal that there was no trust and that the persons in possession, that is the members of the Swami Bagh party, were not holding the building as trustees. The result was that the suit of these persons was decreed and they were granted a declaration that there was no trust and that they were not in possession in the capacity of trustees. They had however in their plaint included a third relief asking for a declaration that the Dayal Bagh section was not entitled to use the 'Samadh' and had no right in it. That declaration was not granted in terms. After the decision of their Lordships, on 5th March 1935, an application was again made to the District Magistrate by the Dayal Bagh section, on 22nd November 1935, asking him to fix a date upon which they could perform a bhandara ceremony and asking him also to make arrangements to enable the ceremony to be performed without a breach of peace. I should mention perhaps that a bhandara ceremony had admittedly been performed in 1929 after the first application to the District Magistrate. It is alleged by the Swami Bagh section that no further bhandara was performed between that year and the year 1935. I do not know whether this is admitted but the question is irrelevant for the decision of the matter before me. The District Magistrate on 12th December 1935 passed an order in which he expressed an opinion that the judgment of their lordships of the Privy Council did not imply that the Dayal Bagh section was not en-entitled to use the samadh for the purpose of performing a bhandara and he therefore said that he would make arrangements to see that the bhandam was performed without a breach of the peace.

3. He said he would if necessary pass-orders under Section 144, Criminal P.C. This order was passed without any notice having been given to the members of the Swami Bagh section. They therefore, when they came to know of it made an application to the District Magistrate objecting to it. On 26th December 1935' the District Magistrate passed another order in which he refused to reconsider the previous order of 12th December. Then on 27th December 1935 he passed a third order which he described as an administrative and executive order not intended to affect civil rights of the parties. In that order he directed that certain* police arrangements should be made. The result was that the bhandara was per-formed on 28th December 1935. It is against the three orders 12th December 1935, 26th December 1935 and 27th December 1935 that this application is made. I am asked to set these three orders aside. It is argued that the District Magistrate had no jurisdiction to pass any of these orders. It is obvious that the District Magistrate was not intending to take action under the provisions of Section 147, Criminal P.C. If he had intended to do that he would have followed the procedure laid down in the section and among other things he would have issued notice to the members of the Swami Bagh section.

4. It is perhaps too much to say that the District Magistrate was acting ultra vires in expressing an opinion about the rights of the parties in the 'Samadh' because I suppose that any person is entitled to express an opinion if he wishes to do so. I must point out, however that the District Magistrate was not authorised by any rule of law to pass an order which could be binding upon anybody unless he passed such an order under the provisions of Section 147, Criminal P.C. He was en-titled to his opinion but the members of the Swami Bagh section are not in any way bound by the order which he pur-ported to pass. In so far as the District Magistrate directed a certain subordinate Magistrate and police officers to attend at the Samadh on a particular date in order to preserve the peace I am not concerned with his order. I would however suggest that it is not proper to use official means to enable any party to trespass upon land in the possession of another unless it is decided in the exercise of some jurisdiction that the party who wishes to enter upon the land is entitled to do so. It is not necessary to set aside any of the three orders which have already served their purpose. It is sufficient to say as I have done that the orders of 12th December and 26th December 1935 are not binding on the members of the Swami Bagh party.

5. The third order was not intended to affect any rights and therefore it is not necessary to say more about it. If in the future it is necessary for the purpose of preserving the peace it will be for the District Magistrate to decide whether the members of the Dayal Bagh party are entitled to enter upon the premises of the Samadh in order to perform religious ceremonies and he may find it necessary to take proper proceedings under Section 147, Criminal P.C. I have been asked to express an opinion upon the effect of the judgment of their Lordships of the Privy Council.

6. I do not think that it would be proper for me to do so at this stage. It is not within my jurisdiction to take proceedings under Section 147, Criminal P.C. and I should therefore be usurping function which is not properly mine in deciding whether the members of the Dayal Bagh section are entitled after the decision of their Lordships to use the Samadh for the purposes for which they claimed to use it. The District Magistrate must be free to come to his own decision and it must be left thereafter to the parties to take such steps as may legally be open to them. If the matter goes to the civil Court, as it may go in accordance with Section 147, Criminal P.C., it would not be right that any opinion expressed by me at this stage should influence the decision of the Judge who would have to try the suit. I do not think that it is necessary for me to set aside any of the three orders against which the applicants make objection. I have expressed an opinion about the effect of these orders and that should be sufficient. I reject the application.


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