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His Holiness Peria Koli Kelvi Appan Tiruvengada Ramanuja Pedda Jiyangarlu Varlu Vs. Prathivadi Bayankaram Venkatacharlu and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1939Mad847; (1939)2MLJ378
AppellantHis Holiness Peria Koli Kelvi Appan Tiruvengada Ramanuja Pedda Jiyangarlu Varlu
RespondentPrathivadi Bayankaram Venkatacharlu and ors.
Cases ReferredRadhakrishna Aiyar v. Swaminatha Aiyar
Excerpt:
- - 10,500 and in the appeal to this court the relief was valued at a like amount. there are questions, as for example, those relating to religious rights and ceremonies, to caste and family rights, or such matters as the reduction of the capital of companies as well as questions of wide public importance in which the subject-matter in dispute cannot be reduced into actual terms of money......thengalai ritual. before the recitation of the tamil scriptures (prabandam), mantras are sung. the mantras sung by the thengalais are different from those sung by the vadagalais. after the recitation of the scriptures, mantras are again sung. here also the mantras sung by the thengalais differ from the mantras sung by the vadagalais. there are other points of difference in the worship, but it is unnecessary to pause to state them. the plaintiff's case was that the thengalai mantras should only be sung at the worship in this temple. the contesting respondents say that the vadagalai sect has the right of singing its own mantras at the same time as the thengalai mantras are being sung. the trial judge held that the plaintiff was right in his contention that only the thengalai mantras should.....
Judgment:

Alfred Henry Lionel Leach, C.J.

1. This is an application for a certificate permitting an appeal to His Majesty in Council. The petitioner is the legal representative of the plaintiff who died during the pendency of the appeal. The plaintiff was the head of an important mutt and as such had the right of conducting public worship at the Tirupathi temple in the Chittoor District. Both sides are agreed that the Tirupathi temple is the most important Vaishnavite temple in the whole of India and pilgrims in large numbers visit it every year in order to worship there. The Vaishnavite community is divided into two sects, the Thengalais (Southerners) and Vadagalais (Northerners). It is also common ground that the adherents of each sect are counted by millions. The suit was filed by the plaintiff in order to establish his right to conduct public worship at the temple according to the Thengalai ritual. Before the recitation of the Tamil scriptures (Prabandam), mantras are sung. The mantras sung by the Thengalais are different from those sung by the Vadagalais. After the recitation of the scriptures, mantras are again sung. Here also the mantras sung by the Thengalais differ from the mantras sung by the Vadagalais. There are other points of difference in the worship, but it is unnecessary to pause to state them. The plaintiff's case was that the Thengalai mantras should only be sung at the worship in this temple. The contesting respondents say that the Vadagalai sect has the right of singing its own mantras at the same time as the Thengalai mantras are being sung. The trial Judge held that the plaintiff was right in his contention that only the Thengalai mantras should be sung before the recitation of the scriptures, but he considered that after the recitation of the scriptures the Vadagalais on certain occasions had the right of singing their mantras at the same time as the Thengalais sang theirs. On appeal to this Court it was held that the trial Court was wrong in holding that the Thengalai sect had the right to have their mantras sung at the commencement of the service. The Vadagalais had the same rights as the Thengalais both before and after the recitation of the scriptures.

2. The plaintiff valued the relief claimed in the plaint at Rs. 10,500 and in the appeal to this Court the relief was valued at a like amount. It is, however, obvious that no monetary value can be attached to the relief and the petitioner rests his case on the provisions of Section 109(c) of the Code of Civil Procedure. It is said that the questions involved in the appeal are questions of great public and private importance, but the contesting respondents deny this, and maintain that on a previous occasion this Court refused leave and the Privy Council refused special leave to appeal. The case referred to by the learned Advocate for the contesting respondents is Venkatavaratha Thathachariar v. Ananthachariar (1883) 3 M.L.J. 150 : I.L.R. 16 Mad. 299 . An examination of the judgment there shows that the question in issue was entirely different. The question was whether the Thengalais or the Vadagalais were entitled to an office in a certain temple. The decision therefore does not help the contesting respondents in any way. There can be no doubt that the form of ritual at the Tirupathi temple is a matter of both public and private importance and consequently we are of opinion that the case does fall within Section 109(c). If there were any doubt, the doubt would be removed by the decision of the Privy Council in Radhakrishna Aiyar v. Swaminatha Aiyar (1920) 40 M.L.J. 229 : L.R. 48 IndAp 31 : I.L.R. 44 Mad. 293 , where Lord Buck-master in delivering the judgment of the Board said:.it is plain that there may be certain cases in which it is impossible to define in money value the exact character of the dispute; there are questions, as for example, those relating to religious rights and ceremonies, to caste and family rights, or such matters as the reduction of the capital of companies as well as questions of wide public importance in which the subject-matter in dispute cannot be reduced into actual terms of money. Sub-section (c) of Section 109 of the Code of Civil Procedure contemplates that such a state of things exists, and Rule 3 of Order 45 regulates the procedure.

3. As this case relates to religious rights and ceremonies at a temple of national importance and the questions in issue are in themselves of great public and private importance, the application will be granted on the usual conditions. Costs of the applicant will be made costs in the appeal.


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