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Dhanpal Singh and ors. Vs. Hariram - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies
CourtMadhya Pradesh High Court
Decided On
Case NumberMiscellaneous (First) Appeal No.155 of 1972
Judge
Reported inAIR1974MP32; 1973MPLJ1014
ActsMadhya Pradesh Public Trusts Act, 1951 - Sections 5, 8 and 27; Code of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Sections 92
AppellantDhanpal Singh and ors.
RespondentHariram
Appellant AdvocateR.K. Pandey, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateA.R. Choubey, Adv.
DispositionAppeal dismissed
Cases ReferredBishwanath v. Radha Ballabhji
Excerpt:
.....who was removed, as well as the transferees from him have, therefore, preferred this appeal. public trusts act section 26 of the act provides that if the registrar on the application of any person interested in the public trust or otherwise is satisfi-ed that the original obiect of the public trust has failed, or that the trust pro-perty is not being properly managed or administered, or that the direction of the court is necessary for the administration of the public trust, be may, after giving the working trustee an opportunity to be heard, direct such trustee to apply to the court for directions within the time specified; (e) directing now the funds of a public trust whose original object has failed, shall be spent, having due regard to the original intention of the author of the..........2. it appears that motidas was working as a manager-trustee and, as such, was in possession of the trust-property. he sold khasra no. 182 to appellants dhanpalsingh and ramadharsingh under a registered sale-deed dated 21-6-1968. the sale-deed appears to have been executed by motidas bairagi in his capacity as sarbarakar of shri ramchandraji mandir. it also appears that the appellants purchased the property soon after the registration of the trust and with full knowledge that the property belonged to the trust. 3. hariram, the respondent, on the allegation that motidas had disposed of all the trust property and had neglected the worship of the idol filed an application before the registrar of public trusts under section 26 of the m. p. pub-lie trusts act. on the direction of the.....
Judgment:

Bhave, J.

1. Shri Ramchandraji Mandir, Banada, Tahsil Seoni-Malwa, District Hoshangabad, is a registered public trust under Section 4 of the Madhya Pradesh Public Trusts Act, 1951. The entries recorded by the Registrar of Public Trusts indicate that Motidas Bairagi, the third appellant, and Hariram, the respondent, were the trustees and that succession to the trusteeship was confined to the members of Amraji Patel, the creator of the trust. The only immovable property attached to the trust was Khasra No. 182, area 4.09 acres, of mouza Banada. The trust was registered under the M. P. Public Trusts Act on 14-5-1968 (See An-nexure A-2).

2. It appears that Motidas was working as a manager-trustee and, as such, was in possession of the trust-property. He sold Khasra No. 182 to appellants Dhanpalsingh and Ramadharsingh under a registered sale-deed dated 21-6-1968. The sale-deed appears to have been executed by Motidas Bairagi in his capacity as Sarbarakar of Shri Ramchandraji Mandir. It also appears that the appellants purchased the property soon after the registration of the trust and with full knowledge that the property belonged to the trust.

3. Hariram, the respondent, on the allegation that Motidas had disposed of all the trust property and had neglected the worship of the idol filed an application before the Registrar of Public Trusts under Section 26 of the M. P. Pub-lie Trusts Act. On the direction of the Registrar, Hariram filed an application under Section 27 of the Act before the District Judge on the same allegations for the relief that Motidas be removed from the trusteeship of the public trust, that Hariram be declared to be the sole trustee of the trust, and that Motidas and the transferees from him be directed to place Hariram in possession of the said property, namely, Khasra No. 182, belonging to the trust. In the proceedings under Section 27 of the Act apart from Motidas, the transferees, namely, appellants Dhanpalsingh and Ramadharsingh were also added as parties.

4. The appellants had denied that there was any trust and also feigned ignorance about the registration of the trust on 14-5-1968. Even the existence of the temple was denied. On these assertions it was further stated that there was no question of removing Motidas from the trusteeship and that the non-applicants (Motidas and the two appellants here)could not be directed to give possession of the land to Hariram or anyone else. It 4 Was claimed that the ancestors of Motidas had installed the deity for private worship and the income from Khasra No. 182 Was utilized towards the expenses of the worship. About 15 years ago Motidas had left the village Banada and had shifted to Kartana where he kept his family deity. The Khasra No. 182 being private property of Motidas, it could be validly transferred to Dhanpalsingh and Rama-dharsingh.

5. Learned District Judge, on the basis of the entries in the Register of Trusts (Ex A-2), came to the conclusion that Shri Ramachandraji Temple was a registered trust and that Khasra No. 182 was attached to the trust Apart from the entries in Ex. A-1, the District Judee relied on the evidence of Hariram and his witnesses Laxmi Narayan and Moojeeram who appeared to be respectable persons of the village. It was also held that Motidas failed to show clearly as to how the property in question belonged to his ancestors and how he had any authority to sell the property to Dhanpalsingh and Kamadharsingh. Having held that the trust was a registered trust and that the property in question belonged to the trust, the District Judge further came to tha conclusion that Motidas was liable to ba removed from the trusteeship, as he had transferred the trust property and had thus committed a breach of trust. The District Judge further held that Dhanpal-singh and Ramadharsingh were purchasers of the trust property with notice that it was a trust property. In this view of the matter, the District Judge directed the appellants Dhanpalsingh and Ramadhar-singh to hand over possession of the field In question (Khasra No. 182) to Hariram, the other trustee, to whom the manage-ment of the trust was entrusted. The appellant, that is the trustee, who was removed, as well as the transferees from him have, therefore, preferred this appeal.

6. The removal of Motidas from the trusteeship cannot be questioned, as even after the declaration under the Madhva Pradesh Public Trusts Act that Shri Ram-chandraji Mandir was a public trust and that the property in question, that is, Khasra No. 182, was trust property. Motidas transferred the property and thus acted in breach of trust Similarly, the finding of the District Judge that Dhanpalsingh and Ramadharsingh are purchasers of the trust property with notice cannot also be questioned because even from the sale-deed in their favour it is clear that Motidas had transferred the property in his capacity as Sarbarakar of the Mandir and also from the fact that She transfer was after the declarationand registration of the trust and also because of the fact that Dhanpalsingh and Ramadharsingh live in the same village and are bound to know that the property belonged to the trust. Realising this position. Shri R. K. Pandey, learned counsel for the appellants, confined his arguments to only one ground, namely, that in exercise of powers under Section 27 of the M. P. Public Trusts Act the District Judge had no jurisdiction to direct delivery of possession from the transferees of the property and that the remedy of respondent No. 1 was to file a separate suit for possession of the property. In support of this ground Shri Pandey relied on certain decisions of the Supreme Court and other Courts on the interpretation of Section 92 of the Code of Civil Procedure as, according to learned counsel, the scope of Section 92. C. P. C. and Section 27 of the M- P. Public Trusts Act is the same and that the provisions of that section should be interpreted in tha same manner. We, however, find it difficult to accept this contention of Shri Pandev.

7. Under Section 4 of the M- PL Public Trusts Act a working trustee is required to apply to the Registrar for registration of the Public trust In this application certain details are reauired to be given, including the names of the managing and other trustees: the property attached to the trust: the mode of succession of the trustees etc. Section 5 then provides that on receipt of an application under Section 4 or upon an application made by any person having interest in the public trust or even on his own motion, the Registrar shall make an inquiry in the prescribed manner for the purpose of ascertaining the facts as to whether the trust is a Public trust; whether any property is attached to the trust; the names of the persons who are the trustees etc. Sub-section (2) of Section 5. however, recruires that before any inquiry is started under Section 5. the Registrar is required to give a public notice of the inquiry proposed to be made and to invite all persons interested in the public trust under inauirv to prefer objections, if any. in respect of such trust. After completion of the inauirv the Registrar is reauired to record his findings on all the matters referred to in Section 5 and to make the necessary entries in tile register maintained for this purpose in consonance with the findings recorded by him. He is further required to publish on the notice board of his office the entries made in the register (Sub-section (1) of Section 7). Sub-section (2) of Section 7 then provides that the entries so made shall, subject to the provisions of the Act and subject to any change recorded underany provision of the Act, be final and conclusive. Section 8 then provides that any working trustee or person having interest in the public trust or any property found to be trust property, aggrieved by any finding of the Registrar under Section 6, may, within six months from the date of the publication of the notice under Sub-section (1) of Section 7, institute a suit in a civil court to have such finding set aside pr modified. That section further provides that on the final decision of the suit the Registrar shall, if necessary, correct the entries made in the register in accordance with such decision. From these provisions it is clear that subiect to the decision of the Civil Court contemplated under Section 8, the entries made by the Registrar become final and conclusive. In other words, they operate as decisions in rem and they are not confined to the parties to the proceedings only. This is so because under Sub-section (2) of Section 5 the Registrar is required to give a public notice inviting all persons interested in the public trust to prefer obiections, if any, in respect of such trust. It was, however, held in Abdul Karim v. Municipal Committee Raipur, AIR 1965 SC 1744 that the M. P. Public Trusts Act is concerned with the registration of public religious and charitable trusts and the enquiry which is contemplated is an enquiry into the question as to whether the trust in question is public or private. The enquiry into the question as to whether the property belongs to a private individual and is not the subject matter of any trust at all is not contemplated. The only persons who are required to file their objections in response to a notice issued by the Registrar are persons interested in the public trust, persons who dispute the existence of the trust or who challenge the allegation that any property belongs to the said trust It was further held in that case that no doubt Section 8 (1) permitted a person having interest in the public trust or any property found to be trust property to file a suit, but the interest to which this section refers is the interest of a beneficiary or the interest of a person who claims the right to maintain the trust or any other interest of a similar character and is not the interest which is adverse to the trust set up by a party who does not claim any relation with the trust at ell. It was further held that, in any case, persons not party to the proceedings before the Registrar could not be held bound by the declaration under Section 7 of the Act This decision, however, will have no bearing in this case because Motidas was a party to the proceedings before the Registrar, he being a managing trustee, Dhanpalsingh and Ramadharsingh beingpurchasers of the trust property with notice that it was trust property and, that too, after the trust was registered as a public trust, are bound or the declaration, as they claim through a person who himself is bound by the said declaration Therefore, there is no auestion of making any fresh enquiry and deciding the title of the trust. The argument of Shri Pan-dey that the purchasers from the trustee could not be deprived of their possession because under Section 27 of the M. P. Public Trusts Act the District Judge had no authority to enquire into the title of the parties and on that ground directing the delivery of possession cannot be sustained.

8. This brings us to the consideration of the scope of the powers of the District Judge under Section 27 of the M. P. Public Trusts Act Section 26 of the Act provides that if the Registrar on the application of any Person interested in the public trust or otherwise is satisfi-ed that the original obiect of the public trust has failed, or that the trust pro-perty is not being properly managed or administered, or that the direction of the Court is necessary for the administration of the public trust, be may, after giving the working trustee an opportunity to be heard, direct such trustee to apply to the Court for directions within the time specified; and if the trustee fails to do so, the Registrar shall himself make an application to the Court. Section 27 them provides that on receipt of such an application the Court shall make or cause to be made such inquiry into the case as it deems fit and pass such order thereon as it may consider appropriate. Sub-section (2) then provides as under:--

'While exercising the power under Sub-section (1) the Court shall, among other powers, have power to make am order for--

(a) removing any trustee:

(b) appointing a new trustee:

(c) declaring what portion of the trust property or of the interest therein shall be allocated to any particular object of the trust;

(d) providing a scheme of manage-ment of the trust property:

(e) directing now the funds of a public trust whose original object has failed, shall be spent, having due regard to the original intention of the author of the trust or the object for which the trust was created:

(f) issuing any directions as the nature of the case may require.'

Sub-section (3) then provides that any order passed by tile Court under Sub-section (2) shall be deemed to be a decree of such Court and an appeal shall betherefrom to the High Court Sub-section (4) then provides that no suit relating to a Dublic trust under Section 92 of the Code of Civil Procedure shall be entertained by any Court on any matter in respect of which an application can be made under Section 26, Now Clauses (a) to (e) of Section 27 of the M. P. Public Trusts Act are similar to Clauses (a), (b), (e) and (e) of Section 92 of the Code of Civil Procedure. Clause (f) of Section 27 is similar to Clause (h) of Section 92. While interpreting Clause (h) of Section 92 of the Code of Civil Procedure, it has been held by the Privy Council in Abdul Rahim v. Abu Md. Barkat Ali., AIR 1928 PC 16 that the words 'further or other relief as the nature of the case may require' must on general principles of construction be taken to mean relief ejusdem generis with those described in Clauses (a) to (a) of the section and not as wholly outside thereof. Similar view was taken by the Supreme Court in Bishwanath v. Radha Ballabhji, AIR 1967 SC 1044. Those were the cases where the trustees or persons interested in the trust on the basis of title had filed suits for Possession of the property from trespassers or alienees from trustees. The objection raised was that such a suit could not be filed, as it was covered by Clause (h) of Section, 92 of the Code of Civil Procedure: and inasmuch as the permission of the Advocate General was not obtained, the suit was not tenable. The interpretation put by their Lordships of the Priw Council on Section 92 of the Code cannot be invoked while interpreting Section 27 of the M. R Public Trusts Act. Under Section 92 of the Code a suit regarding the matters enumerated under that section is barred unless the sanction of the Advocate General is obtained. Under the circumstances, it was necessary to interpret Section 92 strictly, and a suit not covered by the provisions of Section 92 could not be thrown out. The scope of Section 27 is, on the other hand, of a different nature. Under Section 27 the District Judge is given authority to decide whether the trust is being properly managed or not the trust about which a declaration has already been given; and if the trust is not being managed properly, to remove the trustees, appoint new trustees and to give directions regarding the management of the trust. Now, when a trustee is removed, it follows that he is to hand over possession of the property to the new trustee appointed and unless that is done, the direction as to how the property is to be managed by the new trustee becomes otiose. The authority to give direction to the trustee who is removed to deliver possession of the property is implicit in the provisions of Section 27 itselfand, in our opinion, that power is covered under Clause (f) of Section 27 of the M. P. Public Trusts Act The transferees from the managing trustee are in the position of trustees de son tort and hence they can also be directed to deliver possession of the property and it is not necessary that the new trustee should be forced to file a suit for possession of the property. In the present case there is no question of any title being investigated afresh as has been pointed out by us in the beginning. We are, therefore, not inclined to accept the contention of Shri Pandey that the District Judge was in error in directing delivery of possession of the property.

9. The appeal, therefore, fails and is dismissed with costs. Hearing fee Rs. 75/-.


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