1. The plaintiff herein sought to obtain a decree establishing a custom to drain the water of his village of Thamangalam through the villages of Kothamangalam and Sukravaramkotlai belonging to the temple of Sri Navanetheswaraswami of which the first and second defendants are the Panchayatdars, the remaining defendants being the tenants; and for a perpetual injunction to restrain the defendants from any interference with the plaintiff's alleged right.
2. The defence was to the effect that the plaintiff was entitled to no such right as that set up by him; that the suit was barred by limitation; that as the plaintiff, with his father, his uncle, and his brother's sons, together formed an undivided Hindu family, the plaintiff was not entitled to bring this suit without joining the other members of his family; and that the other mirasidars of Thamangalam should also have been joined as defendants in the suit. The sixteenth defendant, the appellant herein, also pleaded that if the plaintiff got a decree as prayed for, great damage would accrue to the neighbouring village of Elamkadambanur, of which he, the appellant, was one of the mirasidars (although he was not joined as a defendant in this suit in that capacity), and that the mirasidars of that village ought to have been made parties to the suit.
3. The Subordinate Court decreed the plaintiff a portion of the relief prayed for, or relief to a similar effect, and rejected his suit as to the rest, and it is against that decree that the sixteenth defendant now appeals.
4. Under the view we take in this appeal, it appears to us to be quite unnecessary to consider in detail the numerous grounds of appeal which have been raised by the appellant herein.
5. It is admitted apparently that the plaintiff is only one member of a joint undivided Hindu family, in whom the right claimed, if it exists, inheres, and it seems to us that as the right is one belonging to the joint undivided family, and not to any individual member thereof, the plaintiff was bound to join in the suit, either as plaintiffs or defendants, the remaining members of the family, and that unless he was the managing member of the family and brought the suit in that capacity, which he does not profess to do, he alone cannot institute the suit, as otherwise, notwithstanding any decree given the plaintiff herein, the other members of his family may at some future period bring a suit or suits for the establishment of some different and possibly much higher right.
6. Although it is unnecessary for us to decide the point in this appeal, we think that in any further proceedings it would be advisable to consider whether or not the right claimed does not so affect the village of Elamkadambanur as to make it necessary to add the mirasidars of that village as defendants in any suit that may hereafter be brought.
7. In conclusion, we would direct the Subordinate Judge's attention to the fact that we are not aware of any power being given, either in the Civil Procedure Code or elsewhere, authorizing--what was in effect done in this case--a Court to delegate to a Commissioner authority to try and decide a suit. In this particular instance, all parties apparently accepted, without objection, the rather peculiar style of procedure adopted by the Subordinate Judge and the Commissioner, and we need not, under the circumstances, therefore go more fully into the matter.
8. We reverse the decision of the Lower Court and dismiss the plaintiff's, suit with costs throughout.