Skip to content


A.C. Joshi, City Deputy Collector Vs. Shukla Ramanujacharya and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies
CourtGujarat High Court
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1976)17GLR529
AppellantA.C. Joshi, City Deputy Collector
RespondentShukla Ramanujacharya and anr.
Cases ReferredShri Adinath Tirthankar Jain Mandir and Ors. v. Shantappa Dada Madnaik and Ors.
Excerpt:
- - since that would be a particular relating to a public trust which was not the subject-matter of the previous inquiry under section 19 on being so satisfied, it would be open to the deputy or the assistant charity commissioner to record his findings and make entries in the register in accordance with the decision arrived at vide kuberbhai v......deputy charity commissioner under section 19 of the act. this disputed property is registered as a trust property at entry no. 1139 in the public trust register. it is found that on 17th october, 1968, the present appellant filed an application under section 22a of the act for cancelling the said entry on the ground that section no. 568 of wadaj is a grazing land and that, therefore, it belonging to the government and has been wrongly entered into trust register as a trust property. it was further alleged that when the inquiry proceedings under section 19 of the act were undertaken, no notice was given to the government about the inquiry.3. during the course of those proceedings, the present respondent no. 1 raised a preliminary contention that the deputy charit commissioner while acting.....
Judgment:

T.U. Mehta, J.

1. This appeal arises out of the judgment and order passed by our learned brother S.H. Sheth, J., in Spl. Civil Application No. 1438 of 1970 holding that the Respondent No. 2, who is Dy. Charity Commissioner has got no jurisdiction to make an inquiry under Section 22a of the Bombay public trusts Act, (Bombay Act No. XXIX of 1950)(hereinafter referred to as 'the Act'), to investigate into the question whether the disputed land which is Section No. 568 of Wadaj is of the ownership of the Government.

2. Short facts of the case are that there is a public trust in the city of Ahmedibad named Shri Gaushala Hanumanji Shiv Ganpati Temple. This trust was registered pursuant to an application made in the year 1952 under the provisions of the Act, and amongst the properties, which were said to be belonging to that trust, the disputed property, which heirs Section No. 568 of wadaj was also included in the register as a result of the inquiry which was found then made by the Deputy Charity Commissioner under Section 19 of the Act. This disputed property is registered as a trust property at entry No. 1139 in the Public Trust Register. It is found that on 17th October, 1968, the present appellant filed an application under Section 22A of the Act for cancelling the said entry on the ground that Section No. 568 of Wadaj is a grazing land and that, therefore, it belonging to the Government and has been wrongly entered into trust register as a trust property. It was further alleged that when the inquiry proceedings under Section 19 of the Act were undertaken, no notice was given to the Government about the inquiry.

3. During the course of those proceedings, the present Respondent No. 1 raised a preliminary contention that the Deputy Charit Commissioner while Acting under Section 22A of the Act had no jurisdiction to consider the question whether the disputed property was of the owner shop the Government and this is more so in view of the fact that the under Section 19 of the Act was already over many years ago and the findings recorded in that inquiry have become final. It appears that till charity Commissioner rejected this prehminary contention with the result that the first respondent approached this Court by invoking tstr jurisdiction by preferring a Special Civil Application No 1438/70. This Special Civil Application was heard and disposed of by our learned brother S.H. Sheth, J. who has taken the view that the Deputy Charity Commissioner had no jurisdiction to inquire into the disputed auesti in an inquiry contemplated by Section 22A of the Act. Shukla Ramanujacharya v. M.N. Shah XIII G.L.R. 493. Being aggrieved by this decision, the present appellant, who is the Deputy Collector of Ahmedabad, has preferred this Appeal.

4. The question which is involved in this appeal is one of the correct interpretation which can be put to Section 22A of the Act as regards its real scope and ambit. This Section 22A is in the following terms:

22A. If at any time after the entries are made in the register under Section 21 or 22, it appears to the deputy or assistant charity Commissioner that any' relating to any public trust, which was not the subject matter of the Section 19 or sub Section (3) of Section 22, as the case may be, has remained to be enquired into, the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner, as the case may b further inquiry in the prescribed manner, record his findings and make entries in the register in accordance with the decision arrived at or if appeals or application are made as provided by this Act, in accordance with the dedsion of authority provided by this Act. The provisions of Sections 19, 20, 21 and 22 shall so far as may be, apply to the inquiry, the recording of findings and the making of entries in the register under this section.

The section thus obviously contemplates a fresh inquiry in cases where 'any particular relating to any public trust, which was not subject matter of an inquiry under Section 19, has remained to be inquired into' in both words, the section has application to the cases where even though inquiry under Section 19 has been made, some particulars relating to a near trust remained to be inquired into in an inquiry conducted under Section 19 if a reference is made to Section 19 it will be found that it, inter alia contemplates an inquiry for the purpose of ascertaining (i) whether any property is the property of such trust; and (ii) any other particulars as may be prescribed under Sub-section (5) of Section 18. Looking to these provisions of Section 19 it is obvious that the question whether any property is the property of a particular trust is one of the questions which is required to be inquired during the course of the inquiry contemplated by it. But there would be cases where particulars relating to either the property regarding which the inquiry is made for the public trust itself, have remained to be inquired into during the course of the inquiry contemplated by Section 19. In order to meet such contingencies Section 22a was inserted in. The scheme of the Act by Section 2 of Bombay Act 59 of 1954.

6. Now, looking to the facts of this case, the question which is now sought to be inquired at the instance of the Government, is whether the property covered by Section No. 568 of Wadaj is the property belonging to the Government and not to the trust in question. If it is found that the consideration of this question is a particular relating to the trust in question, which particular was not the subject matter of inquiry under Section 19, and which has remained to be inquired into, then provisions of Section 22a would fully apply to the facts of this case and the deputy charity Commissioner would have jurisdiction to go into that question.

7. Shri Daru, who appeared on behalf of the first respondent, contended that since it is an admitted fact that during the course of the original inquiry under Section 19 of the Act, it was found that Section No. 568 of wadaj is one of the properties belonging to the trust, it should be presumed that all the particular relating to the ownership of this property were inquired into during the course of the original inquiry and if that be so, Section 22a would have no application to the facts of this case. He further contended that the present inquiry contemplates with regard to the 'particular relating to the property of the Government and, therefore, it cannot be said that the question which is raised by the Government under Section 22a is a question about a particular relating to the trust.

7. We find that the expression 'particular relating to the public trust' has been often considered and interpreted by this Court in various decisions ranging from the year 1961 to 1973. The earliest decision on this question is found in Kuberbhai Shivdas and Anr. v. Mahant Purshottamdas Kalyandas and Ors. (1961) 2 G.L.R. 654. Therein it is observed that the word 'particular' mentioned in Section 22A would mean any information or detail as to a trust which has not been considered in a previous inquiry under Section 19. Thus, the word 'particular' is interpreted as connoting 'any information relating to the trust' in question. This meaning of the word 'particular' has been consistenly adopted by this Court in various decisions as will be seen subsequently. If we once accept that the meaning of the word 'particular' connotes 'any information relating to the trust' in question and if it is found that the said 'information' or 'detail' was not the subject matter of inquiry under Section 19 and remains to be inquired into, then it cannot be gainsaid that the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner has got jurisdiction under Section 22a to decide the question. Speaking of this case, it is an admitted position that during the course of the original proceedings under Section 19 of the Act, there was no information before the concerned authority that the disputed property was the property of the Government. If there was no such information, it follows that the said information was not the subject matter of inquiry under Section 19 of the Act and that, therefore, that information remains to be inquired into now. In our view, therefore, if the connotation of the word 'particular', which is found used in Section 22a and which is consistently accepted by this Court in various of its decisions, is followed, then the jurisdiction of the Deputy Charity Commissioner to inquire into the question, raised by the Government before him under Section 22a of the Act, cannot be challenged.

8. We shall not proceed to consider how this Court has consistently followed the view which was initially taken in the above referred case of Kuberbhai v. Purshottamdas. In F.A. No. 67/63, which is decided along with second Appeal No. 377/63, Ratilal Keshavlal v. Bai Mani D.A. Desai, J. Has taken the same view in his judgment dt. 4-7-69. Thereafter M.U. Shah J. Has also taken the same view in F.A. No. 404/63 Hiragar Dayagar v. Ratanlal Chunilal which is decided on 3-2-70. Thereafter on 16th November, 1972, a Division Bench of this Court constituted by M.P. Thakkar and P.D. Desai, JJ. Has taken the same view in F.A. No. 784/65. Ramniklal Somnath v. Laxmichand Atmaram. Dealing with the present question, P.D. Desai, J. Speaking for the bench has observed as under in the said judgment:

It would appear from the provisions contained in Sections 22 and 22A that they provide for-the changes to be made where such changes appear to be necessary either as a result of a change having occurred subsequent to the date of the entry or as a result of some particular having been left out of consideration in the previous inquiry. The word 'particular' mentioned in Section 22A would-mean any information or detail as to a trust which has not been considered in a previous inquiry under Section 19. If information is furnished to the assistant or the Deputy Charity Commissioner which was not before him at an earlier inquiry or which was suppressed by a trustee, for example, for the purpose of avoiding a property to be declared to be property belonging to a public trust, it can be inquired into under Section 22a. An application under Section 22a can be made even by a third party and such party would inter-alia have to satisfy the Deputy or Assistant Charity Commissioner that certain property suppressed fraudulently and/or dishonestly belonged to a public trust. Since that would be a particular relating to a public trust which was not the subject-matter of the previous inquiry under Section 19 on being so satisfied, it would be open to the deputy or the assistant charity Commissioner to record his findings and make entries in the register in accordance with the decision arrived at Vide Kuberbhai v. Purshottamdas II G.L.R. 564.

Thereafter in C.R.A. 558/69, which is decided on 16-3-73 the same view has been expressed by P.D. Desai, J. It is thus evident tent in a series of decisions this Court has consistently taken a view that the connotation of the word 'particular' is any 'information' or 'detail' with regard to the concerned public trust. If this is so, and if it is found that the said particular was not the subject matter of inquiry under Section 19, it is difficult to hold that the deputy charity Commissioner or assistant charity Commissioner, who conducts inquiry under Section 22A, has no jurisdiction to make such an inquiry.

9. We find that contrary view is taken by the High Court of Bombay in Shri Adinath Tirthankar Jain Mandir and Ors. v. Shantappa Dada Madnaik and Ors. : AIR1967Bom86 . However, in view of the consistent decisions given by this Court on various occasions on this point and also in view of the fact that the interpretation of the word 'particular' which is made by this court, is reasonable and correct, we see no reason not to follow the above referred decisions of this Court.

Under the circumstances, this appeal should be allowed. The same is allowed and the order passed by the learned single judge is set aside. It is further ordered that the proceedings filed by the appellant before the Deputy Charity Commissioner under Section 22A of the Act shall proceed further according to law as the said Deputy Charity Commissioner has juridiction to go into this question. There shall be no order as to costs looking to the peculiar facts of this case.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //