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Puthia Madathil Subramaniam Pattar of Engadiyur Amsom and Desam (dead) and Anr. Vs. Engadiyur Devaswom Uralan Antoli Nani Amma's son Karnavan Velu Nair and Ors. (23.07.1925 - MADHC) - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in(1925)49MLJ717
AppellantPuthia Madathil Subramaniam Pattar of Engadiyur Amsom and Desam (dead) and Anr.
RespondentEngadiyur Devaswom Uralan Antoli Nani Amma's son Karnavan Velu Nair and Ors.
Cases ReferredSundaresan Chettiar v. Viswanatha Pandara Sannadhi
Excerpt:
- - this conclusion is based on the principles of english law relating to trustees but it is doubtful whether they are applicable in their entirety to persons like heads of mutts or managers of religious institutions who are not in the strict sense of the word trustees......judgment another case of this court has been reported, namely, sundaftesan chettiar v. viswanatha pandara sannadhi ilr (1922) m 703, in which the facts are identical with the present case, namely, there was a distinct understanding in the promise made by the uralars that the money was to be repaid out of devaswom funds, that is to say, not only did they pledge their personal credit but they entered into a contract with the plaintiff that the devaswom funds should be liable tor the repayment of the debt. these facts distinguish the present case from that reported in saminatha aiyar v. srinivasa aiyar (1916) 32 mlj 259 and also that in ammalu ammal v. namagiri ammal : air1918mad300 . in this latter case the learned judges refused to consider the question of liability of trustees of.....
Judgment:

Phillips, J.

1. This is a suit on a promissory note executed by the defendants who are Uralars of a devaswom. In the promissory note it is recited that the two defendants promise 'in our capacity as Uralars of the devaswom to pay' and again we have the recital ' the amount that has been taken in cash is due to you from the devaswom. ' Notwithstanding this specific recital of the liability of the devaswom for the suit debt the Lower Appellate Court has held, relying on Saminatha Aiyar v. Srinivasa Aiyar (1916) 32 MLJ 259, that the plaintiff is entitled only to a personal decree against the Uralars. Since the District Judge delivered his judgment another case of this Court has been reported, namely, Sundaftesan Chettiar v. Viswanatha Pandara Sannadhi ILR (1922) M 703, in which the facts are identical with the present case, namely, there was a distinct understanding in the promise made by the Uralars that the money was to be repaid out of devaswom funds, that is to say, not only did they pledge their personal credit but they entered into a contract with the plaintiff that the devaswom funds should be liable tor the repayment of the debt. These facts distinguish the present case from that reported in Saminatha Aiyar v. Srinivasa Aiyar (1916) 32 MLJ 259 and also that in Ammalu Ammal v. Namagiri Ammal : AIR1918Mad300 . In this latter case the learned Judges refused to consider the question of liability of trustees of religious institutions and based their judgment on the liability of secular trustees and adopting the same argument as that adopted in the earlier case held that there was only a personal liability. This conclusion is based on the principles of English Law relating to trustees but it is doubtful whether they are applicable in their entirety to persons like heads of mutts or managers of religious institutions who are not in the strict sense of the word trustees.

2. It is suggested for the respondents that because the earliest decision in Srimath Deivasikhamani Pandara Sannddhi v. Noor Mahomed Rowther ILR (1907) M 703 is doubted in Saminatha Aiyar v. Srinivasa Aiyar (1916) 32 MLJ 259, whereas it is to a limited extent approved in Sundaresan Chettiar v. Viswanatha Pandara Sannadhi ILR (1922) M 703 that there is a divergence of opinion between the two Benches. But Krishnan, J. in Sundaresan Chettiar v. Viswanatha Pandara Sannadhi ILR (1922) M 703 merely says that he is inclined to follow Srimalh Deivasikhamani Pandara Sannadhi v. Noor Mahomed Rowther ILR (1907) M 47'where the debt is not incurred purely on the personal liability of the debtors '. This limitation of liability is the cardinal distinction between the present case and that in Saminatha Aiyar v. Srinivasa Aiyar (1916) 32 MLJ 259 where the authority of the prior decision was questioned. I am bound by the decision in Sundaresan Chettiar v. Viswanatha Pandara Sannadhi ILR (1922) M 703 which is exactly in point and I may add that I see no reason to doubt its correctness.

3. I may here observe that in dealing with the facts of this case I have taken one fact as assumed by both the Lower Courts, namely, that there was necessity to borrow on behalf of the devaswom. That point has not been decided by either Court. It will therefore be necessary to remit the case to the District Munsif for decision of this issue and for final disposal in the light of the above remarks. The stamp on the appeal memo. will be refunded and the costs of this appeal will abide the result.


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