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K. Rangappa and ors. Vs. Karnam Bhimappa - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in36Ind.Cas.284; (1916)31MLJ360
AppellantK. Rangappa and ors.
RespondentKarnam Bhimappa
Excerpt:
- - this no doubt may lead to certain inconvenience in cases like this where the boundaries of taluqs are modified. but the suit is one for ejectment, the title of the temple is denied and if the plaintiff who instituted the suit cannot show that he has any title to maintain, the suit must fail......devasthanam committee of kalyandrug ; and it is contended in second appeal that the kalyan -drug temple committee had no power to appoint a dharmakartha of the institution in question. the royadrug temple committee was the committee that was originally appointed at the time the religious endowments act xx of 1863 came into force ; and the contention of the learned pleader for the appellants is that that committee continued to retain jurisdiction over the institution, whatever modifications might be made afterwards by the revenue authorities in the boundaries of the taluq. section 7 of the act says that 'the local government shall once for all appoint one or more committees in every division or district to take the place and to exercise the powers of the board of revenue and the local.....
Judgment:

1. This is a suit by the plaintiff who professes to be the Dharmakartha of the Sri Anjaneyaswami Temple at Jagguparthi to eject the defendants from certain lands which are alleged to belong to the temple. The lands in question originally belonged to the Rayadrug taluq. But it appears that there was a redistribution of taluqs in 1894 and in that redistribution the lands fell within the Kalyandrug taluq in Anantapur. The Royadrug taluq is in the district of Bellary. The plaintiff has been appointed Dharmakartha by the Devasthanam Committee of Kalyandrug ; and it is contended in second appeal that the Kalyan -drug Temple Committee had no power to appoint a Dharmakartha of the institution in question. The Royadrug Temple Committee was the committee that was originally appointed at the time the Religious Endowments Act XX of 1863 came into force ; and the contention of the learned pleader for the appellants is that that committee continued to retain jurisdiction over the institution, whatever modifications might be made afterwards by the Revenue authorities in the boundaries of the taluq. Section 7 of the Act says that 'the Local Government shall once for all appoint one or more committees in every division or district to take the place and to exercise the powers of the Board of Revenue and the local agents, under the Regulations hereby repealed'. Then Section 9 provides that 'every member of the committee appointed as above shall hold his office for life, unless removed for misconduct or unfitness' ; and under Section 10 vacancies will be filled by the appointment of other members. So that the original committee continuss to have and that is the only committee which has jurisdiction over a temple in any particular division or district. Section 12 says that immediately after the appointment of the committee all the property of the mosque or temple or religious establishment shall be transferred to that committee and that all the powers that were exercised by the Board and the local agents might be exercised by such committee to whom such transfer is made. That makes it absolutely clear that it is the committee originally appointed in that behalf or the succession of that committee, that can exercise jurisdiction over a particular institution and the properties vested in it. This no doubt may lead to certain inconvenience in cases like this where the boundaries of taluqs are modified. But on the other hand if the contention of the respondent were conceded viz., that the jurisdiction of the committee should vary with the limits of the revenue unit, we would be landed in still greater difficulties. For instance supposing a new taluq is carved out of two taluqs, then according to the viewthat is propounded on behalf of the respondent, for the new taluq there can be no committee to exercise jurisdiction or powers over religious institutions that may be included within its borders ; for under this Act there is no provision for appointing an altogether new committee. The committees whatever they were, were appointed once for all and it has not been shown to us that the Government have got any power to appoint a fresh committee.

2. That was really the only question to decide in the appeal. But the learned pleader for the respondent also attempted to argue that even if the plaintiff was not appointed by the committee that had power to appoint Dharmakartha of the Devasthanam in question since the defendants themselves are trespassers, the plaintiff is entitled to succeed in this suit and to recover possession of the property. But the suit is one for ejectment, the title of the temple is denied and if the plaintiff who instituted the suit cannot show that he has any title to maintain, the suit must fail.

3. The decrees of both the Lower Courts are set aside and the plaintiff's suit is dismissed with costs throughout.


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