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A. Karuppa Chetty Goundan Vs. the Board of Commissioners for Hindu Religious Endowments  and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in(1949)1MLJ187
AppellantA. Karuppa Chetty Goundan
RespondentThe Board of Commissioners for Hindu Religious Endowmentsandnbsp; and anr.
Cases ReferredVedachala Mudaliar v. The Central Road Traffic Board
Excerpt:
- - under section 26 of the act, if the board is satisfied, that an assistant commissioner has failed to exercise any power or discharge any duty, which he ought to have exercised or discharged, the board may by itself exercise such power or discharge such duty. in a case like this, the question of jurisdiction must be regarded as one of substance as their lordships pointed out in the parlakimedi case and jurisdiction must depend upon the subject matter in dispute; the central road traffic board, madras air1948mad454 .but those observations are not applicable to the facts of the present case, because here the petitioner is litigating his individual right before a judicial body like the madras hindu religious endowments board entrusted with power to adjudicate upon such right......to quash the order of the assistant commissioner dismissing the petitioner, it would follow likewise that it has no jurisdiction to quash the order of the board purporting to exercise the powers of an assistant commissioner under section 26 of the act.5. reliance was placed upon certain observations in the decision in vedachala mudaliar v. the central road traffic board, madras : air1948mad454 . but those observations are not applicable to the facts of the present case, because here the petitioner is litigating his individual right before a judicial body like the madras hindu religious endowments board entrusted with power to adjudicate upon such right.6. we therefore hold that this court has no jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari in this case. the application is dismissed.....
Judgment:

P.V. Rajamannar, C.J.

1. In this application the petitioner prays for the issue of a writ of certiorari to quash the order of the Madras Hindu Religious Endowments Board, dated the 30th July, 1948, by which the petitioner was removed from the office of the trustee of Sri Bhadrakaliamman temple, Mecheri, Salem District. The order was passed under Section 53 and Section 26 of Madras Act II of 1927 as amended by Madras Act VIII of 1944. Under Section 53(1) of the Act, the Board in the case of a temple specified in the list referred to in Sub-section (1) of Section 51 and the Assistant Commissioner in the case of any other temple, may by order suspend, remove or dismiss any non-hereditary trustee on grounds specified therein. Admittedly the temple in question does not fall within the list referred to in Sub-section (1) of Section 51. Therefore it is the Assistant Commissioner that can remove or dismiss a non-hereditary trustee of this temple. Under Section 26 of the Act, if the Board is satisfied, that an Assistant Commissioner has failed to exercise any power or discharge any duty, which he ought to have exercised or discharged, the Board may by itself exercise such power or discharge such duty. It was in the purported exercise of such power conferred by this section that the Board passed the order above referred to.

2. A preliminary objection was taken that this Court has no jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari because of the ruling of the Judicial Committee in Ryots of Garabando v. Zamindar of Parlakimedi The temple is admittedly situated outside the presidency town and the subject matter is the right of the petitioner to the office of trustee in the temple. Mr. Ramamurthi the learned Counsel for the petitioner, contended that the decision of the Judicial Committee in the Parlakimedi case would not apply to the facts of this case on account of two facts: (1) the Board of Commissioners for Hindu Religious Endowments must be treated as an inhabitant of the presidency town; and (2) the subject matter in dispute between the Board on the one hand and the petitioner on the other must be deemed to have arisen here. We are unable to accept his contentions. The Judicial Committee refused to accept the position that by the mere location of its office in the presidency town the Board of Revenue could be deemed to be an inhabitant thereof within the meaning of Section 8 of the Letters Patent. Their Lordships treated the Board of Revenue not as an ordinary subject but as an official body entrusted with particular duties including duties of a judicial character. The same reasoning would apply to the case of the Madras Hindu Religious Endowments Board which has been entrusted by statute with duties of a judicial character. In fact, it is because it is treated as an inferior tribunal that the petitioner has sought from this Court a writ of certiorari.

3. The second ground urged by the learned Counsel is based on a fallacy. It is not right to consider the Madras Hindu Religious Endowments Board as a. private party between whom and the petitioner there was a depute. In cases relating to a public trust where proceedings are taken for the framing of a scheme or for the removal of undesirable trustees, in one sense it may be true that there is no private right of parties which is the subject matter of adjudication. But even there it can be said that there is a Us between the trustees on the one side and the deity represented by other trustees or by worshippers or by the Advocate-General on the other side. What is really of importance is that in such cases the Court, if it is a Court which is entrusted with powers to frame a scheme or to dismiss a trustee or, the Board, when invested with such powers, is not in the position of a private party interested in one side or the other. Taking the present: case we find that there was an application by the managing trustee for the removal of the petitioner. If it was not by the managing trustee, it might have been by the worshippers or an officer of the Board. What the Board was called upon was to make an impartial inquiry and to arrive at findings in the same manner as a Court would, if called upon to exercise such functions. In a case like this, the question of jurisdiction must be regarded as one of substance as their Lordships pointed out in the Parlakimedi case and jurisdiction must depend upon the subject matter in dispute; and that in this case, is the right to the office of trustee in a mofussil temple.

4. The learned Counsel for the petitioner conceded that, if in the first instance, the Assistant Commissioner had passed an order dismissing him and on appeal the Madras Hindu Religious Endowments Board had confirmed that order, he could not have come up to us for the issue of writ of certiorari. In our opinion, what has happened in the present case is, on principle, not very different. Just as in an appeal the Board could pass that order which the Assistant Commissioner to ought have passed in the first instance, even here the Board purported to pass an order which, if considered, the Assistant Commissioner ought to have passed himself. If this Court has no jurisdiction to quash the order of the Assistant Commissioner dismissing the petitioner, it would follow likewise that it has no jurisdiction to quash the order of the Board purporting to exercise the powers of an Assistant Commissioner under Section 26 of the Act.

5. Reliance was placed upon Certain observations in the decision in Vedachala Mudaliar v. The Central Road Traffic Board, Madras : AIR1948Mad454 . but those observations are not applicable to the facts of the present case, because here the petitioner is litigating his individual right before a judicial body like the Madras Hindu Religious Endowments Board entrusted with power to adjudicate upon such right.

6. We therefore hold that this Court has no jurisdiction to issue a writ of certiorari in this case. The application is dismissed with costs (one set).


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