Skip to content


Singara Chariar and anr. Vs. Krishnasawmy Thatha Chariar and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in(1896)6MLJ329
AppellantSingara Chariar and anr.
RespondentKrishnasawmy Thatha Chariar and ors.
Cases ReferredSee Govind Bin Lakshman Shet Anjorlekar v. Dhondbarav Bin Gangbarav Tambye I.L.R.
Excerpt:
.....declaring plaintiffs' right to enjoy the archaka and paricharaka mirasies and to perform the puja without interference on the part of defendants and directing defendants to give to plaintiffs the daily and special offerings and to pay the cost of the samprokshana. in 1860 the district court passed an order to the effect that the plaintiffs' rights having been established in original suit 120, it was competent for the munsif if satisfied that the idol found in the tank was the original copperidol, to direct its installation. the relief prayed in respect of the income of, archaka and parichwraka mirasies, samprokshana, &c, matters was distinctly referred and a reference to the plaint shows that substantially the very same claims were then as now advanced. the decision in original..........who are tengalai vaishnavas seek for a declaration of their right, as hereditary servants of the idol manavala mahamuni, to carry the said idol in procession during certain festivals, and to compel the defendants, who are vadagalai vaishnavas and trustees of the devarajaswami's pagoda, in which pagoda the shrine of the idol manavala mahamuni is situated to join in the procession of the idol manavala mahamuni with the idols sri devarajaswami and perundevi thayar.10. the defendants deny the right of the idol manavala mahamuni to the festivals specified in the plaint and the right of the plaintiffs to perform such festivals and plead that the suit is not congnizable by a civil court and that the subject matter of the suit is res judicata.11. the district munsif was of opinion that the.....
Judgment:

Kernan, J.

1. The Lower Appellate Court agreeing with the Munsif, decided that the plaintiffs' suit is resjudicata. This is an appeal against that decision.

2. In suit 120 of 1852 in the Principal Sadr Amin's Court, the plaintiff, the owners of Archaka and Paricharaka Mirasies in the temple of Sri Varadarajaswas in Conjeeveram, were declared entitled to Linue to perform puja according to, mamool and enjoy withuot of the defendants to that suit including the defendants here the drchaka and Paricharaka Mirasies, in respect of the Manavala ings and to have the purification ceremony performed.

3. The plaintiffs-finding that the Alwar, copper idol had been abstracted from the temple, and having been informed that was found in a tan, within the Jurisdiction of the Additional Court of Conjeeveram, the idol was at the instance of the palintiffs tiffs, taken possession of by the Court Thereupon the plaintiffs filed in the Court at Conjeevram Suit No 858 of 1861 praying a decree permitting plaintiffs to instal the idol in the temple to consecrate the idol allowing them to perform puja, extra festivalSatkumari, &c;, as per custom 'as noted thereunder,'and also for payments by defendants amounting to Rs 799-8-0 Amongst the matters noted thereunder, the plaint states I, description of the ceremonies that should be performed on the annual Nakshatrams, of 10 days procession of the [315] special ceremony for the 10th day, satkumari, and that on that day Sri Devaraiaswami and Perundevi Thayar would go to the streets, and would go to the sannadi, of the idol and puja. would be done, &c.; By decree in that suit mad on 12 th april 1865 it was decreed that the copper idol was an encient idol of Manavala Mahamuni sannadi that the claims as to loss of articles, &c.;, referred to in the plaint, and as to income of archaka and Paricharaka Mirasies and Samprokshana and other matters were disallowed.

4. A Suit 129 of 1870 was filed in the Trivellore Munsiff's Court by three persons, Dharmikarthas of the temple, to recover possession of the idol--but in Special Appeal No. 120 of 1875, the Court decided that the plaintiffs were not entitled to unqualified possession--but only to certain power of revision and control.

5. The idol appears to have been placed in its sannadi and Suit No. 775 of 1875 was filed by the plaintiffs in this suit or the persons whose interest they claim against the defendants, the Dharmakar-thas, to recover Rs. 52-8-0 the value of articles damaged in consequence of the defendants obstructing the celebration of procession of the same idol. That suit was dismissed. But in order to recover the damages the plaintiffs went into proof of their right to the idol to have procession through the streets, singly or independently, that is, not in the company of Sri Devarajaswami. However, in the plaint the plaintiffs did not pay for establishing such right of the idol--and the title was gone into incidentally, in order to establish the right to damages for the; obstruction. The principles of the Pull Bench decision in Mtinappa Mudali v. S.T. McCarthy I.L.R. (1881) M. 192 applies. Therefore the dismissal of the Suit 775 of 1875 did not decide that the idol was not entitled to procession in the streets singly. It follows that the 'Lower Court was wrong in holding that the plaintiffs in this suit are estopped by the decision in Suit 775 of 1875 from seeking to establish the claim they make in this suit.

6. As regards the decision in Suit 858 of 1861, upon looking at the decree now appealed from, it appears that neither of the Lower Courts tried the 2nd issue as to the question of res judicata arising from the decision in that suit. This appeal does not refer to it, but the question was argued before us on both sides as matter of law and the evidence on the record is sufficient to enable us to. [316] determine the question ; therefore under Sections 575 and 587, Civil Procedure Code, we proceed to dispose of the question.

7. It was urged for the appellants that the decree in that suit only declared that the idol, was an ancient idol, but. that the relief in respect of the right to procession put forward then was not decided against. This, however, is not so. For although there is some variance between the details of the ceremonies set out at length in the plaint in that suit and in the plaint in this suit the relief in respect of the right of procession is substantially the same. Therefore the decree of the 12th of April 1865 in Suit 858 of 1861 bars the right claimed in this suit under Section 13 of the Civil Procedure Code.

8. This Second Appeal is dismissed with costs.

Wilkinson, J.

9. The plaintiffs in this suit who are Tengalai Vaishnavas seek for a declaration of their right, as hereditary servants of the idol Manavala Mahamuni, to carry the said idol in procession during certain festivals, and to compel the defendants, who are Vadagalai Vaishnavas and Trustees of the Devarajaswami's pagoda, in which pagoda the shrine of the idol Manavala Mahamuni is situated to join in the procession of the idol Manavala Mahamuni with the idols Sri Devarajaswami and Perundevi Thayar.

10. The defendants deny the right of the idol Manavala Mahamuni to the festivals specified in the plaint and the right of the plaintiffs to perform such festivals and plead that the suit is not congnizable by a Civil Court and that the subject matter of the suit is res judicata.

11. The District Munsif was of opinion that the subject matter of the suit was res judicata so far as the plaintiffs right to take the idol Manavala Mahamuni in procession was concerned, it having been decided in Original Suit 775 of 1875 that the said idol had no right to procession through the streets or to an independent pocession. He also 'found that the plaintiffs have no right to compel defendants to bring Devarajaswami and Perundevi Thayar in procession and dismissed the suit.

12. On appeal the District Judge confirmed the decree of the Munsif. He found that in Original Suit No, 775 of 1875 the Munsif in order to arrive at a decision as to plaintiffs' right to perform the Samprokshana or purification ceremony, went into the general [317] question as to whether the idol had an independent right to be carried in procession and decided the question in the negative. He held that the general question having been decided against plaintiffs in that suit could not be reopened. He also confirmed the finding of the Munsif that plaintiffs' claim to compel defendants to bring certain idols in procession was not sustainable and dismissed the appeal.

13. Plaintiffs appeal.

14. A brief sketch of the previous litigation between the parties with reference to this shrine of the idol Manavala Mahamuni will help to throw light on the present dispute.

15. The first suit, it is necessary to notice, is Original Suit No. 120 of 1852. The plaintiffs in that suit were the Tengalai faction, the predecessors in interest of the present plaintiffs, and the defendants were the present defendants, the Dharmakarthas of Devaraja-swami's pagoda. The plaint set forth that in Purattasi of the year Pareethapi the Dharmakarthas had interfered with and prevented the customary worship of the Manavala Mahamuni shrine and had locked up the door of the shrine and it was prayed that a decree might be passed directing that the shrine should be opened. Declaring plaintiffs' right to enjoy the Archaka and Paricharaka Mirasies and to perform the puja without interference on the part of defendants and directing defendants to give to plaintiffs the daily and special offerings and to pay the cost of the Samprokshana.

16. A decree was passed in favour of the plaintiffs declaring their right to the Archaka and Paricharaka Mirasies; to perform puja, &c.;, according to mamool, to the idol, and to receive the daily and special offerings from the temple. Defendant were ordered to pay Rs. 15 for the Samprokshana.

17. In execution of this decree the plaintiffs appear to have been placed in possession of the shrine of Manavala Mahamuni, on opening which they found only a stoneidol, the copperidol used in processions having disappeared.

18. Subsequently a copperidol was found in a tank within the precincts of the Devarajaswami's pagtida. It was attached by the Court at the instance of the defendants. The plaintiffs then moved [318] the Court to direct the installation of the copperidol in accordance with the decree in Original Suit 120 of 1852. The defendants objected that the idol found was a new idol. In 1860 the District Court passed an order to the effect that the plaintiffs' rights having been established in Original Suit 120, it was competent for the Munsif if satisfied that the idol found in the tank was the original copperidol, to direct its installation. Thereupon the present plaintiffs instituted a suit (Original Suit 858 of 1861), against the present defendants and prayed for a decree directing the installation of the said copperidol, its consecration and the performance of daily puja, festivals, &c;, as set forth in the plaint. They also claimed payment of Ks. 85, the delivery of gold jewels, vessels, &c.;, or their value, and payment by defendants of Bs. 252-8-0 for loss of the income of Archaka and Paricharaka Mirasies for 8 odd years.

19. In May 1865 the Court gave the plaintiffs a decree declaring that the idol found in the tank was the ancient idol of the Manavala Mahamuni shrine and disallowing all the other claims.

20. On the 3rd September 1869 the plaintiffs moved the Court to have the idol (which was still under attachment by the CourtJ placed in its shrine and put in their possession. Thereupon the present defendants instituted a suit (Original Suit 129 of 1870) for possession of the idol. Both the Lower Courts dismissed the suit. There was a second appeal to this Court which was dismissed, but No. written judgment was recorded.

21. The Court of First Instance then caused the idol to be replaced in its shrine and the plaintiffs collected the necessary articles for the Samprokshana or purification ceremony. The defendants objected to the performance of the ceremony and called in the assistance of the Police who prohibited its performance. Thereupon the plaintiffs instituted Original Suit 775 of 1875 in the Court of the District Munsif for the recovery of the value, (Rs. 52-8-0) of the articles which they had collected for the ceremony. In the plaint they asserted their right to conduct puja (worship) and festivals in the shrine of Manavala Mahamuni, objected to the obstruction caused by the defendants which resulted in the non-performance of the Samprokshana, festival and prayed for a decree adjudging plaintiffs the sum of Rs. 52-8-0. The defendants denied the right of the idol Manavala Mahamuni to a procession, [319] and the right of the plaintiffs to institute new processions without the consent of the defendants. The following issues were framed:

1st. Whether the procession called Samprokshana Utsavum could be carried out in honor of the copperidol Manavala Mahamuni; 2nd, Whether the plaintiffs are entitled to institute processions without the consent of the defendants; 3rd, Whether plaintiffs made preparations for carrying out the procession; and 4th, What loss plaintiffs sustained. The District Munsif found that Manavala Mahamuni was entitled to no street processions, and that the plaintiffs were incompetent to institute new processions without the consent of the defendants. Being of opinion that the plaintiffs had falied to prove the existence of the right in the exercise of which they asserted that defendants had obstructed them, he held that a suit for damages did not lie. On appeal tlie District Judge concurred with : the Munsif and the appeal was dismissed as was also a second appeal.

22. The first point raised in Second Appeal is that Original Suit 775 of 1875 having been a suit of a Small Cause nature in which the question of the right of Manavala Mahamuni to a procession was only considered incidentally the decision' in that suit that Manavala Mahamuni was not entitled to any procession can be no bar to this suit. Reliance is placed on the Full Bench decision in Mannappa Mudaly v. S.T. McCarthy I.L.R. (1881) M. 192. That was a suit instituted in the Court of a District Munsif to recover Rs. 80, damages, being the value of certain bamboos cut and carried away. Both the Lower Courts went into the question. of title. It was held that inasmuch as the suit was of a nature cognizable by a Court of Small Causes, no second appeal lay, the value of the subject matter not exceeding Rs. 500, and the question of title having been only incidentally raised.

23. Even if it can be said that the right now claimed was only incidentally decided in Original Suit 775 of 1875, the question in the second appeal is not whether a second appeal will lie, but whether the question as to the plaintiffs light is res judicata. Now this question, viz., whether the plaintiffs are entitled to institute processions in honor of Manavala Mahamuni without the consent of the trustees was directly and substantially in issue in Original Suit 775 of 1875. The parties where the same and they were litigating under the same title. The Court which tried the [320] case had jurisdiction finally to decide whether or not the plaintiffs were entitled to conduct independent festivals and processions and it decided adversely to plaintiffs. As remarked by the Privy Council in the recent case of Kali Krishna Tagore v. Secretary of Stated I.L.R. (1888) C 173 in order to see what was in issue in a suit or what has been ' heard and decided the judgment must be looked at. The decree is only to state the relief granted or other determination of the suit. The determination may be on various grounds but the decree does not show on what grounds, and does not afford any information as to the matters which were in issue and have been decided.' The suit (Original Suit 775 of 1875) though in form a suit for damages was based on the assertion by plaintiffs that they have a right to make processions through the streets in honor of their idol. It appears also that it was the plaintiffs themselves who raised the second issue (see above), 'for the purpose of determining their right to institute new processioris without the consent of the defendants.' The question we have to decide being not whether a second appeal will lie,' but whether it having been decided in Original Suit No. 775 of 1875 by a Court of competent jurisdiction, that the plaintiff's have no such rights as those they seek to establish in this suit, the present suit is main tainable.' In my judgment the matter having been decided against the plaintiffs in Original Suit 775 of 1875 is res judicata and the suit was properly dismissed.

24. Another point has been argued.

25. The 2nd issue in the suit was whether the suit is res judicata by reason of the decisions in Original Suits 858 of 1861 and 775 of 1875. The Munsif merely remarked 'I find this issue against the plaintiff' and proceeded to comment on Original Suit 775 of 1875 alone. In the memo. of appeal to the District Court the plaintiffs only took objection to the finding of the Munsif so far as Original Suit 775 of 1875 was concerned, and the District Judge did not consider the effect of the decision in Original Suit 858 of 1861. In the memo of appeal to this Court Original Suit 858 of 1861 is not referred to, but the question whether or not the decision in that suit was a bar to this suit has been argued before us, and it is urged that the right which the plaintiffs advanced to processions was not decided [321] against. It is plain by a reference to the judgment in the case that this was not so. The relief prayed in respect of the income of, Archaka and Parichwraka Mirasies, Samprokshana, &c;, matters was distinctly referred and a reference to the plaint shows that substantially the very same claims were then as now advanced. The decision in Original Suit 858 of 1861 is therefore clearly a bar1 to this suit.

26. This Second Appeal fails and is dismissed with costs.

NOTE.--On the question whether the decision in O.S. 775 of 1875 wpuld operate as res judicata, See Govind Bin Lakshman Shet Anjorlekar v. Dhondbarav Bin Gangbarav Tambye I.L.R. (1890) 15 .


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