1. The question of limitation is one of the questions on which the lower appellate Court disagreeing with the Munsif dismissed the plaintiff's suit No. 61 of 1903. The object of the suit was to obtain a declaration of the plaintiff's right to the office of the 1st Thirthakar with its honors and emoluments and to restrain the defendants from receiving and enjoying those honors and emoluments. There can be no doubt, that both the lower Courts have rightly held that the proper article applicable to the suit is Article 124 which prescribes 12 years as the period of limitation for a suit for possession of an hereditary office and lays down that the time will begin to run from the date when the defendant takes possession of the office adversely to the plaintiff. It seems to be the plain meaning of the article that the plaintiff's right to recover an hereditary office would not be barred unless the defendant is found to have been in possession of it adversely to the plaintiff for 12 years, and the fact that the plaintiff did not have possession of the office at any time within 12 years previous to the suit would not be sufficient in itself to bar his claim. The explanation added to Article 124 as to how an hereditary office is possessed makes the matter still clearer. The learned District Judge, therefore, in saying that because the plaintiffs failed to prove that they had possession of the office within 12 years of the suit, their right would be barred, has apparently misunderstood the scope of the article In support of his view he relies upon the authority of Madralabin Ginapa v. Bhagvanta bin Devjt 9 B.H.C.R. 260 and the analogy of Article 142. The decision in Madvala bin Ginapa v. Bhagvanta bin Devji 9 B.H.C.R. 260 would appear to have reference to the Limitation Act, XIV of 1859, which contained no specific article corresponding to Article 124 of the present Limitation Act, and we think that the analogy of Article 142 cannot be invoked in interpreting Article 124 as the two articles substantially differ in their wording.
2. It is, however, contended by the learned Vakil for the respondent that the facts admitted or found to be proved in this case not only show that the plaintiffs did not exorcise the office of the 1st Thirthakar any time within 12 years of the suit having been excluded thereby the 1st defendant but that the 1st defendant and his predecessor in the office of Jeer held adverse possession of the office of the 1st Thirthakar by enjoying its honors and emoluments for more than 12 years before the institution of the suit. We think this contention has been made out. It has been found and the-finding being one of fact could not be challenged in second appeal that the plaintiffs ever since 1885 have been altogether excluded from the office of first Thirthakar by the defendant who successfully prevented them from exercising any of its functions and enjoying its privileges. We may observe here that the apparent origin of the dispute which led to the dispossession of Thatha Charia is that they wrongly insisted on introducing the Vadagalai manlram into certain rituals instead of the Thengalai mantram.
3. It is also proved that although the plaintiffs deputed more than one gumasla to perform the duties of the office of the 1st defendant he refused to recognize their status and the latter who is not only the trustee of the temple but also the 2nd Thirthakar enjoyed as proved by the District Judge the 1st Thirthom office in addition to his own through a gumasta who was entirely his creature. 'But it is urged that Palavadu Ramannja Chari, the gumasta in question, purported to act as hereditary gumasta of the Thatha Charis and thus there was no adverse possession by him or through him. There is, however, the fact that Thatha Cluiris repudiated the claim of this man to act as their gumasta, and the truth seems to he as found by the District Judge, that the Jeer himself, ever since 1885, enjoyed the privileges and income of the office of the 1st Thirthakar through Plavadu Ramanuja Chari who was his own nominee. We think, therefore, the plaintiff's suit is barred and the appeal must be demised with costs. The same question of limitation arises in Second Appeals Nos. 953 of 1905, 954 of 1905 and 955 of 1905 which must also be dismissed with costs. As we find that the suits were rightly dismissed on the ground of limitation we have not thought it necessary to consider the other questions dealt with in the judgment of the lower appellate Court and discussed before us in second appeal.