1. This is a criminal revision case which is sought to be filed against the order made by the learned Joint Magistrate of Ongole under Section 87, Madras Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, 19 of 1951.
2. The short facts are: Koneri Veeray.ya was appointed as Trustee of the Chennakeswaraswami temple in Kothakote village in Ongole taluk by the Assistant Commissioner for Hindu Religious Endowments, Guntur district, on 9-6-1948. The respondents before the Joint Magistrate, Ongole, who are petitioners before me are the ex-trustees of the temple. In this case, a certificate has been issued as contemplated under Section 87 of the new Act in the prescribed form setting forth certain properties belonging to the religious institution and directing delivery of possession to the person appointed as aforesaid of such properties etc. The ex-trustees have been obstructing and preventing the trustee lawfully appointed by the Assistant Commissioner from taking possession of the properties mentioned in the certificate, Therefore, the petition had been filed under Section 87 of the new Act for necessary action. The learned Joint Magistrate of Ongole directed the respondents before him, viz., the petitioners before me to deliver possession of the properties to the respondent-trustee before me. Thereupon this revision case has been filed.
3. I may point out here that the petitioners' case is that a suit has been filed in the Sub-Court, Ongole, under Section 62 of the present Act and that he has obtained an order on 11-3-1952 restraining the respondents from taking possession of the lands pending disposal of that suit. This contention was overruled by the learned Joint Magistrate and this is reiterated here as the only point of substance before me for admitting this revision case.
4. The contortions of the petitioners before me are as follows : That the learned Joint Magistrate should have held that he had no jurisdiction to direct delivery of possession of the properties when a civil suit was pending in respect of the same subject matter; that the learned Joint Magistrate should have seen that the power under Section 87 exercised by the Subordinate Judge (sic) -- probably Joint Magistrate -- is subject to the filing of the suit by the aggrieved party and that when the suit is pending in respect of the panic matter there is no jurisdiction for him; that the Joint Magistrate should have held that in view of the order of temporary injunction issued by the Subordinate Judge he had no power to direct delivery of possession of the properties; that the Joint Magistrate should have held that, in matters pending before the civil court long prior to Act 19 of 1951 came into force he cannot affect matters which have been started long before the Act came into operation; and that the Joint Magistrate, Ongole, erred in finding that the Assistant Commissioner's order corresponds to the order of the Commissioner under the new Act in respect of the appointment of the first respondent as trustee.
5. These objections singly or cumulatively are devoid of any substance and here are my reasons. The first contention about jurisdiction is meaningless because the First Class Magistrate is vested with jurisdiction to enquire into the matter of putting the trustee or executive officer in possession and the pendency of a civil suit will not in any way affect his jurisdiction. In fact Section 62 of the new Act clearly lays down that an aggrieved party can file a suit; but the civil court while vested with the jurisdiction to modify or cancel such order shall have no power to stay the Commissioner's order pending the disposal of the suit. This is precisely what is sought to be done here. Section 62 is an answer to the second and third points raised by the petitioners. In fact it is overlooked that apart from Section 62, the Joint Magistrate, Ongole, is not the subordinate of the learned Subordinate Judge of Ongole and an injunction cannot be granted to stay proceedings in a court not subordinate to that from which an injunction is sought and to stay proceedings in any criminal matter. Incidentally the penultimate point taken is not correct because as a matter of fact the suit filed by the petitioners before us was under the new Act, though it might have been started under the old Act. The last point is equally devoid of substance because of the transitory provisions provided for in the new Act. This revision petition is nothing more than a device to protract proceedings and to defeat the very object of the new Act.
In this connection we may briefly allude to the statement of objects and reasons when Section 78 of the old Act was substituted for the previous Section 78 by Act 4 of 1930. It was stated:
'It is notorious that trustees dismissed by Committees under Act 20 of 1863 have in several instances refused to hand over possession to the persons newly appointed and have defied the committees by remaining in possession pending the end of protracted litigation started by them. This clause is intended to end the scandal.'
But unfortunately for the framers of this new section, for reasons with which we are not concerned here, the praiseworthy object was defeated. Therefore, when the new Act 19 of 1951 was framed a more summary and expeditious method of putting trustees appointed under the Act in possession was adopted, viz., clothing the Magistrate of the area with jurisdiction and interdict civil courts from interfering by means of injunctions and bringing to a standstill the orders of the Commissioner.
These provisions are now sought to be undermined by the type-design contentions as advanced above and they merit no encouragement at our hands. On the other hand, so far as our criminal revisional jurisdiction is concerned, all that we have to consider is the legality and propriety of the order made by the lower courts and once it is found that a trustee I has been lawfully appointed by the Assistant Commissioner and that a certificate in the prescribed form has been issued and that a fair and proper enquiry has been held by the Magistrate within the four corners of Section 87 and that an order in conformity with the provisions of the Criminal Procedure Code is pronounced, viz., stating the point for decision, the decision and the reasons for the decision, the High Court will not interfere in revision leaving it to the party to canvass his grievance in the suit prescribed by the-new Act and obey the order of the Magistrate and in the event of his succeeding in the suit take back delivery of possession because in this case it can never be said that a restitution will be impossible.
6. There are no grounds whatsoever to interfere with the order of the lower court and this criminal revision case is dismissed. (Leave refused).