Civil Misc. Petition No. 24 of 1972.
1. The Petitioners are entitled to leave to appeal to Supreme Court from our judgment and decree dated 17-2-1972 in First Appeal No. 45 of 1970 (reported in AIR 1972 Raj 263) under Article 133(1)(a) of the Constitution, because the value of the subject-matter of the dispute in the Court of first instance and still in dispute of appeal was and is Rs. 97,500/-, that is, much more than Rs. 20,000/-, and our judgment is one of variance. A certificate will issue accordingly.
Civil Misc. Petition No. 833 of 1972.
2-4. This is an application by the petitioners (in Civil Misc. Petition for Leave to Appeal No. 24 of 1972) at whose instance we have granted leave to appeal to Supreme Court against our judgment dated 17-2-1972, praying that status quo regarding the property in dispute be ordered to be maintained till the decision of the appeal by the Supreme Court which may be filed in pursuance of the leave granted by us.
5. The learned counsel for the petitioners has sought the assistance of the provisions of Order 45, Rule 12 (2) (d) Civil P. C. and Section 151, Civil P. C.' in support of his application. He has also filed an affidavit of one Lekha Singh.
6. The application has been, opposed on behalf of the non-petitioners, who have also filed a written reply.
7. It may be relevant to state, here, that the petitioners had filed the suit out of which this application arises for declaration of the Trust Deed dated 15-12-1960 and the transfer deed dated 15-12-1960 as null and void and had also prayed that the non-petitioner No. 2 Pratap Singh may be restrained from acting as the Santsatguru of the religious institution known as Radha Swami Dera Baba Bagga Singh, Taran Taran. It was further prayed that a receiver be appointed to manage the properties of the said institution and a direction be issued for election of a Sant Satguru by the Sangh. The suit was opposed by the non-petitioners inter alia on the ground that it was not maintainable in the absence of sanction by the Advocate General of Rajasthan under Section 92, C. P. C. The trial Court, however, repelled all the pleas raised by the defendants (non-petitioners) and decreed the plaintiffs suit. On appeal by the defendants we have held that the suit was not maintainable in absence of sanction by the Advocate General, and in this view of the matter we have reversed the judgment and decree, by the trial Court and dismissed the plaintiffs' suit.
8. It may be pointed out here that in pursuance of the decree of the trial Court one Shri Jugraj Singh Advocate was appointed as a receiver to manage the properties of the institution and he took over the possession, and management of the property belonging to the Dera from the defendants. The petitioners have alleged that they have a reasonable apprehension that if the subject-matter of the dispute passes into the hands of the non-petitioners they would alienate the same or may fritter away the property by other means and thereby cause irreparable loss to the petitioners in case the appeal succeeds in the Supreme Court. It has, therefore, been prayed that the Receiver Shri Jugraj Singh, Advocate may be allowed to continue in the management of the property till the decision of the case by the Supreme Court. It has been contended on behalf of the petitioners that the order of appointment of Receiver does not automatically terminate and in the facts and circumstances of the present case it would be just and proper to continue his appointment.
9. Learned counsel for the non-petitioners has, however, strongly opposed the application, and has urged that this Court has no jurisdiction to grant any interim relief to the petitioners and that the application is not covered by the provisions of Order 45, R. 13, C.P.C. In support of his contention he has relied upon the following cases:--
(1) Kalyan Singh v. State of U. P., AIR 1961 All 619 (FB).
(2) Piarey Lal v. Basheshar Nath, AIR 1962 Punj 276.
(3) Samplal v. Sm. Kaushalya Devi, AIR 1956 Punj 225.
(4) Sajjan Singh v. State of Rajasthan, AIR 1954 Raj 301.
(5) Union of India v. Gwalior Rayon Silk ., -1963 MPLJ (N) 51.
(6) Madhya Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation v. State of M. P., 4966 MPLJ 318.
(7) Rajahmundry E. S. Corporation v. State of Madras, AJR 1953 Mad 475.
(8) Mohan Singh v. Roshan Lal, AIR 1970 Delhi 88.
10. We do not consider it necessary to discuss the principle laid down, in the authorities referred to above as, in our opinion, the position appears to be well settled that under Order 45, Rule 13 (2) (d) it is not open to the High Court to impose any conditions upon or give other directions to any party other than the one seeking the assistance of the Court. As observed by Rajamannar, C. J. in AIR 1953 Mad 475 Order 45, Rule 13 (2) (d) only enables the High Court to place the party seeking the assistance of the Court under any conditions which the Court may think fit to impose, and it also enables the Court to give such other direction that is to say the direction other than the direction placing the party under any condition respecting the subject-matter of the appeal, such as for instance, an order directing the appointment of a receiver. It was observed that the provision does not enable the High Court to give any direction to the successful party by way of restricting or preventing him from exercising the rights to which he has become entitled under the final order of the High Court. We, therefore, see force in the contention raised by the learned counsel for the non-petitioners that under Order 45, Rule 13 (2) (d) this Court cannot give any direction to the successful party by way of restricting or preventing it from exercising the rights to which it has become entitled under the final order of this Court. This, however, does not mean that no order for appointment of a receiver can be passed under the said provision, even if a case is made out for the same. The point to be examined, therefore, is whether without imposing any conditions or restrictions upon the successful party namely the non-petitioners, a case for appointment of Receiver or for continuance of the Receiver already appointed by the trial Court has been made out
11. In this connection we wish to point out that the petitioners had not applied for appointment of Receiver during the pendency of the suit in the trial Court, and the receiver came to be appointed only after a decree had been passed by the trial Court in favour of the petitioners. The non-petitioners have been deprived of the possession and management of the property in dispute and the management of the same has been handed over to the Receiver in pursuance of the decree passed by the trial Court. It has not been shown to us that the non-petitioners had committed any acts of misfeasance or non-feasance in the matter of management of the property belonging to the institution during the pendency of the suit. It is true that after the decision of the case by the trial Court the property has been managed by the Receiver but the petitioners cannot be allowed to take advantage of this fact when the decree of the trial Court has been vacated by us and we have come to the conclusion that the suit is not maintainable. By maintaining status quo in respect of the management of the property by the Receiver we would be perpetuating the mischief done to the non-petitioners by a decree which we have found to be erroneous. In the circumstances, we are of opinion that no special cause has been shown for the appointment of a Receiver afresh or for continuing the appointment of the Receiver made by the trial Court in pursuance of its decree. Consequently the prayer for continuance of the Receiver appointed by the trial Court in pursuance of its decree is disallowed.
12. At this stage, we also wish to point out that the property in dispute belongs to a charitable and religious institution and we are anxious that till further orders by the Supreme Court the subject-matter of the appeal must be preserved and the rights of the persons who may ultimately be found by the Supreme Court to be entitled to possession and management be safe-guarded. The petitioners have relied on Section 151, C.P.C. for obtaining an appropriate interim relief for preservation of the property. Learned counsel for the non-petitioners, however, contended that no orders can be passed in this respect under Section 151, Civil P. C. Reliance has been placed on the observations made in AIR 1961 All 619 (FB).
13. It may be observed that with respect to the inherent powers of the Court in such matters their Lordships of the Supreme Court have laid down in Manoharlal v. Hiralal, AIR 1962 SC 527:
'Section 151 itself says that nothing in the Code shall be deemed to limit or otherwise affect the inherent power of the Court to make orders necessary for the ends of justice. In the face of such a clear statement, it is not possible to hold that the provisions of the Code control the inherent power by limiting it or otherwise affecting it. The inherent power has not been conferred upon the Court; it is a power inherent in the Court by virtue of its duty to do justice between the parties before it. Further when the Code itself recognizes the existence of the inherent power of the Court, there is no question of implying any powers outside the limits of the Code.'
14. This Court had also taken the same view in AIR 1954 Raj 301, though in the facts and circumstances of that case the learned Judges did not think it proper to grant an interim relief under Section 151, C.P.C. We are, therefore, of opinion that this Court has jurisdiction to grant interim relief in a proper case under Section 151, C.P.C. Even the non-petitioners have stated intheir reply to the application (vide para 13) that they are ready and willing, if required, to give an undertaking to the satisfaction of this Court that no property of the Dera which may be handed over to them by the Court and the Receiver will be alienated or in any way wasted during the pendency of the proceedings before this Court or during the pendency of the appeal before the Hon'ble Supreme Court.
15. It appears to us that the Dera has a considerable income on account of immoveable property including the agricultural land and considerable portion of the income is spent over the maintenance of the Dera as well as for feeding and looking after the Satsangies. It would therefore, be proper in the circumstances of this case, and in view of the willingness expressed by the learned counsel for the non-petitioners, to bind down the non-petitioners for the proper management of the property of the institution. They shall keep correct and regular accounts of the income and expenditure of the Dera and submit the same in the Court of Additional District Judge, Sri Ganganagar at the end of every third month after they have taken over the charge of the property. They would further give security in a sum of Rs. 1,00,000/- to the effect that they shall not in any way alienate, waste or misuse the property belonging to the Dera. The possession of the property shall not be delivered to them unless a security in the terms mentioned above is furnished to the satisfaction of the Additional District Judge, Ganganagar. It may, however, be made clear that the aforesaid directions to be carried out by the non-petitioners are subject to the petitioners' filing appeal in the Supreme Court within limitation prescribed by law or within such further time as may be granted by the Supreme Court.
16. The application for stay is disallowed subject to the conditions laid down above for preservation of the property in dispute.