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The President of the Board of Commissioners for the Hindu Religious Endowments Vs. Nagarathina Mudaliar and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1935Mad417; (1935)68MLJ549
AppellantThe President of the Board of Commissioners for the Hindu Religious Endowments
RespondentNagarathina Mudaliar and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....execution; and it has also been held that sub-section (2) to section 70 makes such an order of the board a decree. section 70(2) says:the court shall, on the application of the president of the board or committee, recover the amount as if a decree had been passed for the amount by the court against the religious endowment concerned.3. the earlier part of the sub-section reads:such trustee shall, within three months of his receipt of such notice or within such further time as may be granted by the board or committee pay out of the funds of the math or temple concerned the amount so demanded,, to the president of the board or committee, as the case may be, or to any person authorised by him.4. to see what the notice therein is one has to turn to section 70. (1) which reads as follows:the.....
Judgment:

Horace Owen Compton Beasley, Kt., C.J.

1. This is an appeal from an order of the District Judge of West Tanjore dismissing E. P. No. 143 i of 1930 by the President of the Board of Commissioners for Hindu Religious Endowments, Madras, against the respondents here who are the trustees of a separate kattalai attached to a temple. They are what is known as kattalaidars. The appellant purporting to act under Section 70 of the Madras Hindu Religious Endowments Act (II of 1927) filed the execution petition to recover the amount stated therein which, according to the appellant, is the share of the contribution to be made by the kattalai to the Madras Hindu Religious Endowments Board under Section 69 of the same Act. It was contended before the learned District Judge that the appellant acted without jurisdiction in assessing the respondents with this contribution and the learned District Judge upheld that contention. Dealing with Section 69 he was of the opinion that a separate kattalai attached to a temple does not come under that section and he accordingly dismissed the execution petition. Hence this appeal.

2. The argument put forward on behalf of the appellant is that, in view of decisions of this High Court, the executing Court had no power to go behind the decree which it had before it for execution; and it has also been held that Sub-section (2) to Section 70 makes such an order of the Board a decree. Section 70(2) says:

the Court shall, on the application of the President of the Board or Committee, recover the amount as if a decree had been passed for the amount by the Court against the religious endowment concerned.

3. The earlier part of the sub-section reads:

Such trustee shall, within three months of his receipt of such notice or within such further time as may be granted by the Board or Committee pay out of the funds of the math or temple concerned the amount so demanded,, to the President of the Board or Committee, as the case may be, or to any person authorised by him.

4. To see what the notice therein is one has to turn to Section 70. (1) which reads as follows:

The costs, expenses and contributions payable under Sections 68 and 69' shall be assessed on and notified to the trustee of every math and temple in the prescribed manner. Where the contribution or a portion of the contribution has to be paid by a specific endowment the same shall be assessed on and notified to the trustee of the specific endowment also.

5. It is argued on behalf of the respondents that the latter part of Section 70 (1) does not enable the Board or the Committee to proceed against them under Sub-section (2) of the same section P and that all that that provides for is a notification to the trustee of a specific endowment of the contribution which he has to make to the temple itself; and it is argued that no Ns reference whatever is made in Section 69, which provides for the annual contribution from the endowments to the Board, to any B contribution to be paid directly by any specific endowment. In my view, this contention cannot be upheld. It was necessary to put it forward for the purpose of satisfying us that this was a matter in which the executing Court had the right to dismiss the execution petition by reason of the fact that on the face of it the appellants had no jurisdiction whatever to pass the 'decree' which the executing Court had before it. In my view, the contention put forward by the respondents is wrong. The contention that there is no direct liability from the trustee of any specific endowment towards the Board appears to me to be fallacious; and if that contention were upheld, the latter part of Section 70(1) would be entirely meaningless. It is difficult to imagine why that provision has been inserted unless the trustees of the specific endowment were intended to become directly liable to the Board. Having been assessed and notified, it seems to me that the Board is entitled to proceed under Sub-section (2) of the same section in execution. The contention that 'religious endowment' which appears in the last line of that sub-section does not refer to kattalais and specific endowments of that nature cannot seriously be urged in view of the recent decision of Bench of this High Court consisting of Ramesam and Venkatasubba Rao, JJ., in Vythilinga Pandara-sannadhi v. Ranganatha Mudaliar (1933) 66 M.L.J. 98, where it was held that a kattalai is a religious endowment within the meaning of Section 9(11) of the Act. That being so, it seems to me quite clear that Section 70(1) authorises the Board to assess the trustee of a specific endowment and Sub-section (2) of that section enables the Board having so assessed the trustee to recover the amount so assessed by means of execution proceedings. It is admitted here that the kattalai in question is a specific endowment and that the respondents are the trustees thereof. This, in my view, concludes the matter. The position, therefore, was that the executing Court had before it a decree which it was bound to execute. On the face of it there was nothing which showed that the Board had acted without jurisdiction in making the order upon the respondents which has the effect of a decree. It is only in cases where a Court has passed a decree which it is obviously has no jurisdiction to pass that it can even faintly be argued that an executing Court can refuse to execute a decree which it has before it.

6. For these reasons the order of the lower Court must be set aside and the appeal allowed with costs.

Cornish, J.

7. I agree.


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