Horace Owen Compton Beasley, Kt., C.J.
1. The Civil Revision Petition is presented against a decision of the Additional Subordinate Judge of Tanjore upon issue No. 1 in the suit which was:
Is the Thiruvaduthurai mutt a public, charitable or religious institution within the meaning of Section 92, Civil Procedure Code, and is the suit-sustainable under the said section?
2. The Additional Subordinate Judge gave his decision upon this issue on the 22nd December, 1932, finding that the mutt was a public and charitable religious institution within the meaning of Section 92, Civil Procedure Code and that the suit was therefore sustainable under that section. The objection taken to this decision is that the Judge has failed to distinguish between an endowment for the general support of the mutt and a specific endowment for a specific purpose and that the former purpose is not one which makes the mutt a charitable or religious institution within the meaning of Section 92, Civil Procedure Code. A preliminary objection to the maintainability of this revision petition was taken by the respondents, it being contended that an appeal from the decree in the suit lies to the High Court, that the question before us is one which has to be decided in such an appeal and that a decision upon one of several issues in the suit is not a decision upon the case, and therefore no Civil Revision Petition can be entertained. In support of this contention a decision of a Full Bench of the Allahabad High Court, viz., in Buddhu Lal v. Mewa Ram I.L.R.(1921) 43 All. 564 was relied upon. This decision certainly supports the preliminary objection but it was not the unanimous decision of the Full Bench of five because two of its number dissented from the majority view and held that the High Court had jurisdiction to entertain an application in revision, Walsh, J., one of the dissenting Judges stating that in the Allahabad High Court there were pronounced and irreconcilable differences of principle in the practice followed by different Judges. Apart from the fact that in this case the decision was not unanimous, there are decisions of this High Court taking a contrary view to that taken by the majority of the Full Bench in that case, and we see no reason why we should therefore seek authority from elsewhere. One of the Madras decisions is Balakrishna Odayar v. Jagannadha Chariar (1924) 48 M.L.J. 534 a decision of Wallace and Madhavan Nair, JJ. In that case the Court had to consider issue No. 1 in the suit which as in the present case raised the question of the maintainability of the suit under Section 92 of the Civil Procedure Code: The Court decided that it was a fit matter for revision, holding that, if the suit is not maintainable at all, interference by the High Court in revision would prevent further waste of time and money; and it was on that account that the revision petition was entertained though it was stated that interference in revision with findings in a pending suit is not a matter which the High Court will view with favour, and it will require a very strong proof of want of jurisdiction or irregular exercise of jurisdiction to warrant interference. Another case is the decision of Curgenven, J., in Ranganayaki Bai Ammal v. Shivarama Dubay (1929) 58 M.L.J. 104 to the same effect and in the course of his judgment reference is made to other reported cases of this High Court, Curgenven, J., stating:
I think it must be said that there is now a course of decisions in favour of interference sufficiently marked to render it undesirable that a single Judge should take the opposite view.
3. In our opinion, it is clear that it has been the practice of this High Court to exercise its revisional powers in such cases and therefore the preliminary objection must be overruled. But it by no means follows that, because the High Court has the power to interfere in revision, in such cases it must necessarily do so. On the contrary, we are definitely of the view that the High Court ought not to do so unless the particular point can be shortly and conveniently disposed of by way of a Civil Revision Petition, and it seems to us that this is certainly not such a case. We may usefully refer to two decisions of the Privy Council, viz., Mahomed Soleiman v. Birendra Chandra Singh
4. We cannot leave this case without saying that it is a glaring example of protracted litigation. The suit was filed in 1918 and in 1932, fourteen years afterwards, the issue as to its maintainability was first decided. This seems to us to be nothing short of a scandal. The suit must now be disposed of without further delay. Issues 2 and 3 have already been decided, and the other issues as yet undecided must be pronounced upon as soon as possible. In order to save any delay should there be any appeal against the decree, upon this point. The Subordinate Judge is directed to frame a scheme for the general endowments, and another for those for specific purposes.