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The Board of Commissioners for Hindu Religious Endowments Vs. His Holiness Sri Vidyaranya Satchidananda Abhinava Sankara Bharathi Swamulu Varu, Trustee of Sri Virupakshaswaraswami, Etc., - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1939Mad801; (1939)2MLJ395
AppellantThe Board of Commissioners for Hindu Religious Endowments
RespondentHis Holiness Sri Vidyaranya Satchidananda Abhinava Sankara Bharathi Swamulu Varu, Trustee of Sri Vir
Cases ReferredNaranna Naidu v. Venkataramayya
Excerpt:
.....of the temple as it would appear that the trustee himself is not in a position to look after the management personally throughout, and we wish to make it clear that if there is any mismanagement of the affairs of the institution in future the powers of the board to rectify such mismanagement will remain unaffected by the result of this appeal. 4. it follows from what we have said that the appeal must fail as both the points raised have to be decided against the appellant......of a manager by the board and the allotment of certain important duties to him under the scheme, the provisions in the scheme are such that, if they are allowed to remain, the powers of the hereditary trustee could be practically set at naught and what could not be done directly would be allowed to be done indirectly by the appointment of a manager by the board and entrusting all the most important duties of management to him under the scheme itself, he being removable only by the board. these provisions would reduce the powers of the trustee to a cipher, or at least the provisions may be so worked as to produce this result; and we are of opinion that in this view the provisions in the scheme ' relating to the appointment of a manager by the board and the allotment of important.....
Judgment:

Pandrang Row, J.

1. This is an appeal by the Board of Commissioners for Hindu Religious Endowments, Madras, from the decree of the District Judge of Bellary dated 18th February, 1935, in O.S. Mo. 5 of 1934, a suit by the trustee of Sri Virupakshaswaraswami, etc., temples at Hampi in Hospet taluk against the Board for cancelling or modifying a certain scheme framed by the Board on the 4th August, 1933. It was alleged in the plaint that the Board had no power to frame the scheme and that in any case there was no justification for the framing of a scheme. This formed the subject-matter of the first issue in the suit. That allegation, however, was withdrawn at the trial and the Court below has found that a scheme was necessary and the need for a scheme is not now questioned before us on behalf of the respondent.

2. The appeal relates to two matters, namely, the appointment of additional or associate trustees provided in the scheme and the appointment of a manager by the Board and the allotment of certain duties to him in the scheme. As regards these two matters the learned District Judge was of opinion that the provisions in the scheme relating thereto were ultra vires of the Board and accordingly directed the deletion of those parts of the scheme which related to these matters. As regards the appointment of additional or associate trustees, though under the Act as amended by Act XII of 1935 such an appointment is allowed in terms, nevertheless, before the Act was amended, that is to say, when the scheme now under discussion was framed by the Board, no such power had been expressly conferred on the Board. On the other hand, in construing Clause 2 of Section 63 of the Act of 1927, a Bench of this Court held in Naranna Naidu v. Venkataramayya (1934) 68 M.L.J. 722 : I.L.R. 58 Mad. 862, that the Board had no power to appoint additional or associate trustees. We see no reason to differ from that decision as regards the interpretation of this particular provision of the law in question as it stood before the Act was amended. The amending Act does not say that the amendment shall have retrospective effect or that the law must be deemed to have been always as laid down in the amending Act. It was perfectly open to the legislature to have declared its intention to make the new provision retrospective if it had that intention. The amending Act does not, however, disclose any such intention and we are unable to see any reason for departing from the general rule against giving retrospective effect to legislation. The learned District Judge was therefore right in coming to the conclusion that the appointment of additional or associate trustees is ultra vires of the Board. Though he does not quote the Bench decision above referred to, it is probable he had it in mind.

3. As regards the second point, the appointment of a manager by the Board and the allotment of certain important duties to him under the scheme, the provisions in the scheme are such that, if they are allowed to remain, the powers of the hereditary trustee could be practically set at naught and what could not be done directly would be allowed to be done indirectly by the appointment of a manager by the Board and entrusting all the most important duties of management to him under the scheme itself, he being removable only by the Board. These provisions would reduce the powers of the trustee to a cipher, or at least the provisions may be so worked as to produce this result; and we are of opinion that in this view the provisions in the scheme ' relating to the appointment of a manager by the Board and the allotment of important duties of management to him must also be deemed to be ultra vires because they have the effect of placing the management of the institution in the hands of some one not appointed by the trustee and not responsible to him, and would thus in fact displace the trustee from the management of the affairs of the temple. Nevertheless it is but right that we should express our view that the trustee would do well to see that an efficient man is appointed as local manager to look after the actual management of the affairs of the temple as it would appear that the trustee himself is not in a position to look after the management personally throughout, and we wish to make it clear that if there is any mismanagement of the affairs of the institution in future the powers of the Board to rectify such mismanagement will remain unaffected by the result of this appeal.

4. It follows from what we have said that the appeal must fail as both the points raised have to be decided against the appellant. The appeal is accordingly dismissed with costs.


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