1. Fatta, a Harijan of village Kurana, District Karnal, brought a suit against Karta and six others for a permanent injunction restraining the defendants from interfering with his exclusive right to the use of the carcasses of animals that die in the jurisdiction of the Gram Panchayat of this village. His allegations were that the Gram Panchayat had given the contract of removing these carcasses for a period of two years (from 24th March, 1970 to 23rd March, 1972) to him and he paid Rupees 4000/- for that purpose. Previously, this job of collecting all the carcasses of animals was entrusted to Karta, defendant, alone. Alongwith the suit, the plaintiff filed an application under O. 39, Rules 1 and 2, Code of Civil Procedure, for issuing a temporary injunction to the defendants restraining them from collecting the carcasses of dead animals from the area of the Gram Panchayat of this village.
2. This application was rejected by the trial Court mainly on the ground that the plaintiff had not been able to show a prima facie case in his favour. According to the learned Judge, the Gram Panchayat had no authority to create a lease of this kind in favour of the plaintiff.
3. Against the dismissal of his application, the plaintiff went in appeal before the learned Senior Subordinate Judge, Karnal. He affirmed the finding of the trial Court and dismissed the appeal. The plaintiff has come here in revision against that order.
4. The only point to be determined is whether or not the plaintiff has a prima facie case in his favour because the moment it is held that he has one, he is entitled to the temporary injunction during the pendency of the suit. My attention was invited to the provisions of Section 81(1)(f) of the Punjab Gram Panchayat Act, 1952. The relevant part of this section reads:
81. '(1) The following moneys shall be credited to the Gram Fund--
x x x x x
(f) the sale proceeds of all dust, dirt, dung or refuge collected by the servants of the Panchayats and dead bodies of animals not claimed by any person in accordance with any custom or usage and the trees and other produce of the land vested in the Sabha'.
5. A reading of this provision indicates that the Gram Panchayat is entitled to the sale proceeds of the dead bodies of the animals which are not claimed by any person in accordance with any custom or usage.
6. It has not been brought to my notice that the defendant in this case had ever claimed the said dead bodies by virtue of any custom or usage. That being so, it appears the Gram Panchayat was entitled to the sale proceeds of the dead bodies of such animals.
7. Then again under Section 22(g) and (q) of the Gram Panchayat Act, a Gram Panchayat can by a general order direct that the carcasses of all animals dying within the village shall not be disposed within a radius of 440 yards of the residential area of the village, and also regulate the flaying and disposal of dead animals. No doubt there is a proviso added to Section 22(g) which says that nothing shall be done under that clause to interfere with the legal rights of any person. That only means that if somebody claims a legal right to the dead animals, the same, if proved, will not be interfered with. But as I have already said the defendants, in the instant case, have not claimed that they are entitled to the carcasses of the dead animals by virtue of any custom or usage. In view of these provisions, I am of the opinion that it appears that the plaintiff has at least a prima facie case to be tried and that being so, he should get the temporary injunction claimed by him during the pendency of the suit.
8. I, however, wish to make it clear that anything said by me, while disposing of this revision petition should not in any way prejudice the legal rights of the parties during the trial of the main suit.
9. In view of what I have said above. I accept this revision petition and quash the impugned order. There will, however, be no order as to costs. The trial Court is, however, directed to dispose of the suit as expeditiously as possible.
10. The petitioner has given up respondents Nos. 1 and 2. Their names may, therefore, be struck off the memo of parties.
11. Petition accepted.