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Godasankara Vila Rajah Avergal Vs. the Board of Commissioners for Hindu Religious Endowments - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrust and Societies
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in113Ind.Cas.88; (1929)56MLJ113
AppellantGodasankara Vila Rajah Avergal
RespondentThe Board of Commissioners for Hindu Religious Endowments
Excerpt:
- - we are clearly of opinion that 'article 17' must be deemed to include the whole of article 17 consisting of (i), (ii) and (iii), 17-a (i), (ii) and (iii) and 17-b. the revision petitions, therefore, fail and are dismissed with costs, one set......comes under article 17 (i) 'to alter or set aside a summary decision or order of any of the civil courts not established by letters patent or of any revenue court,' or whether it comes under article 17-a (i) 'to obtain a declaratory decree where no consequential relief is prayed.' the application is to set aside the order of the religious endowments board and to declare that the plaint temple is a private temple. this certainly would come within article 17-a (i) for no consequential relief is prayed and a declaratory decree is asked for. but it is contended that the more favourable form of taxation must be applied if possible to the petitioner and that as the fee under article 17 (i) is less than that under article 17-a (i), the former article should be applied here, and it is.....
Judgment:

Phillips, J.

1. The question that is raised here is what is the proper court-fee payable on an application under Section 84 of the Religious Endowments Act II of 1927. Schedule II of that Act says that it shall be the fee leviable on a plaint under Article 17, Schedule II of the Madras Court Fees Amendment Act, 1922. It is contended here that, inasmuch as Article 17 is specified, it does not include Article 17 (a) or 17 (b), but when the whole Article is referred to it must include its component parts and it cannot be read as meaning Article 17 alone; for, if that were done, Articles 17 (i), (ii) and (iii) would equally have to be excluded and there would be no provision applicable except Article 17 which is only a preliminary heading to the various parts of the Article numbered as (i), (ii), (iii), A, B, etc. We are clearly of opinion that 'Article 17' must be deemed to include the whole of Article 17 consisting of (i), (ii) and (iii), 17-A (i), (ii) and (iii) and 17-B.

2. The next question is whether this application comes under Article 17 (i) 'to alter or set aside a summary decision or order of any of the Civil Courts not established by Letters Patent or of any Revenue Court,' or whether it comes under Article 17-A (i) 'to obtain a declaratory decree where no consequential relief is prayed.' The application is to set aside the order of the Religious Endowments Board and to declare that the plaint temple is a private temple. This certainly would come within Article 17-A (i) for no consequential relief is prayed and a declaratory decree is asked for. But it is contended that the more favourable form of taxation must be applied if possible to the petitioner and that as the fee under Article 17 (i) is less than that under Article 17-A (i), the former Article should be applied here, and it is contended that the Board of Commissioners for Hindu Religious Endowments is a Civil Court within the meaning of that Article. There is nothing in the Act to justify that contention, for the Board is nowhere referred to as a Court and, although it has power to take evidence and decide questions in a judicial manner, that does not necessarily make it a Civil Court. It has been held by a Full Bench of this Court in C.R.P. Nos. 1027 and 1028 of 1924 and 301 of 1925 that the Board of Revenue exercising jurisdiction under certain sections of the Estates Land Act is not a Civil Court subject to the revisional powers of this Court. Amongst the arguments put forward against the proposition was that a Revenue Court is deemed to be a Civil Court in certain respects, but when the Court Fees Act makes a distinction between Civil Courts and Revenue Courts, it is obvious that it is not in the sense that a Revenue Court may be said to be a Civil Court that the expression 'Civil Court' is used. It apparently refers to Civil Courts such as are contemplated by the Code of Civil Procedure, namely, Courts which have general powers of trying civil disputes and not Courts with such a power limited to cases of one particular kind. There therefore appears to be no ground for holding that this Board of Commissioners is a Civil Court within the meaning of that Article. If that is so, that Article cannot apply to the present application which must fall under Article 17-A (i) as has been held by the District Judge. The revision petitions, therefore, fail and are dismissed with costs, one set. Time for payment of court-fee extended by two months from date of receipt of this order in the Lower Court.


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