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Saminatha Vs. Purushottama - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in(1893)ILR16Mad67
AppellantSaminatha
RespondentPurushottama
Cases ReferredAmbalavana v. Saminatha Appeal No.
Excerpt:
religious institution - debt contracted by one claiming to be in possession as head of the institution--'de facto' manager, power of--cost of defending ejectment suit. - .....charge upon the resources of the mutt. it is not denied by the advocate-general that in some cases debts incurred by a de facto but not de jure manager would be binding; but the contention is that this litigation was brought about by a trespasser for his own private ends and was not for the interest of the mutt,3. it is argued on the other side that though the defendants were found to be trespassers they resisted the suit in the interest of the adhinam for the maintenance of its independence and the establishment of the right of its head to nominate his successor, in which contentions the claims of the dharmapuram mutt were successfully resisted. in the result, however, the defendant was ordered to pay his own costs and the high court refused to make them a charge against the mutt......
Judgment:

1. The bond on which the present suit is brought was given in consolidation of three previous debts evidenced by Exhibits C, D and E. The genuineness of these documents is not disputed, but it is alleged that the debts were not incurred for the benefit of the mutt. The receipt of the first Rs. 5,000 (Exhibit C) has not been entered in the mutt accounts at all and though it may have been spent for the purposes of the litigation under. which Kumaraswami Tambiran was endeavouring to support his title there is nothing to trace the money. The receipt of the other two sums, Rs. 3,000 (Exhibit D) and Rs. 2,000 (Exhibit E) are entered in the mutt accounts (Exhibit IV).

2. It is pointed out that when the Rs. 3,000 was received there was a cash balance of Rs. 1,496-10-1, and when the Rs. 2,000 was received there was a balance of Rs. 928-15-8. It is not, however, seriously disputed that the income of the mutt was amply sufficient for its ordinary and legitimate expenses, such as paying kists, etc., and the real point argued before us is whether the expenses of the litigation in which Kumaraswami and afterwards Kundaswami were engaged were a legitimate charge upon the resources of the mutt. It is not denied by the Advocate-General that in some cases debts incurred by a de facto but not de jure manager would be binding; but the contention is that this litigation was brought about by a trespasser for his own private ends and was not for the interest of the mutt,

3. It is argued on the other side that though the defendants were found to be trespassers they resisted the suit in the interest of the adhinam for the maintenance of its independence and the establishment of the right of its head to nominate his successor, in which contentions the claims of the Dharmapuram mutt were successfully resisted. In the result, however, the defendant was ordered to pay his own costs and the High Court refused to make them a charge against the mutt. Though the head of a mutt has large powers see Sammantha Pandara v. Sellappa Chetti I.L.R. 2 Mad. 175, there is a wide distinction to be drawn between cases in which debts are incurred bond fide in furtherance of the objects of the institution and cases in which debts are incurred for private and personal purposes. Mere recitals in deeds are not sufficient [Chidambara Setti v. Kattamma Natchiyar 3 M.H.C.R. 260] and it cannot seriously be contended that it is for the advantage of an institution that an unqualified person shall be able to establish himself as its head. It has already been held in Ambalavana v. Saminatha Appeal No. 53 of 1891, unreported that a similar debt is not binding upon the mutt.

4. As regards the contention that part of the money may have been used for the payment of kists it is pointed out that Rs. 3,000 out of the second Rs. 5,000 borrowed has been paid back, and it is clear that the lender must have known that the transaction was somewhat of a speculation as he delivered up without demur the Government paper which had been deposited with him as security for the loans.

5. We must reverse the decree of the Subordinate Court and dismiss the suit with costs throughout.


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