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Samayamanthula Parvata Vardhanamma Vs. Villa Subba Rao and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported in(1949)1MLJ382
AppellantSamayamanthula Parvata Vardhanamma
RespondentVilla Subba Rao and ors.
Cases ReferredSee Sankaralinga Nadar v. Rajeswari Dorai
Excerpt:
- - it is desirable to have a written record of the agreement of parties where a decree or final order is passed by consent, especially in cases like the present where the judge is invited to act and to some extent acts extra cursum curiae......owned an extent of 1 acre 60 cents of wet land in a neighbouring village. by an order of the hindu religious endownments board passed under section 76, madras act ii of 1927 dated 19th march, 1945, sanction was accorded to an exchange of these properties as between the temple and the third respondent, on the ground that the exchange was beneficial to the temple. it appears that this exchange was sanctioned on the assumption that the property of the temple sought to be alienated by way of exchange was worth about rs. 1,500. the deed of exchange was duly executed on the 24th of august, 1945 by the executive officer of the temple and the third respondent. on 22nd january, 1946 o.p. no. 11 of 1946 was filed in the district court of east godavari by two persons interested in the temple.....
Judgment:

Viswanatha Sastri, J.

1. The third respondent in the lower Court seeks to have the order of the District Judge of East Godavari in O.P. No. 11 of 1946 set aside in revision. Sri Visweswaraswami Temple of Inavilli village owned lands of an extent of 2 acres 18 cents in the vicinity of the village fit for building sites. The third respondent owned an extent of 1 acre 60 cents of wet land in a neighbouring village. By an order of the Hindu Religious Endownments Board passed under Section 76, Madras Act II of 1927 dated 19th March, 1945, sanction was accorded to an exchange of these properties as between the temple and the third respondent, on the ground that the exchange was beneficial to the temple. It appears that this exchange was sanctioned on the assumption that the property of the temple sought to be alienated by way of exchange was worth about Rs. 1,500. The deed of exchange was duly executed on the 24th of August, 1945 by the executive officer of the temple and the third respondent. On 22nd January, 1946 O.P. No. 11 of 1946 was filed in the District Court of East Godavari by two persons interested in the temple for cancelling the order of the Hindu Religious Endownments Board dated 19th March, 1945, sanctioning the exchange on the ground that the transaction, far from being beneficial to the temple, was detrimental to its interests. When the petition came on for hearing before the District Court, an order was passed by that Court purporting to be by agreement of parties, cancelling the exchange sanctioned by the Hindu Religious Endowments Board and directing a sale of the temple property for Rs. 6000 to the petitioners, and the third respondent in O.P. No. 11 of 1946 and also apportioning the property and the price as between them in the manner agreed to by the parties. The bulk of the property was to be sold to the petitioners in the lower Court for Rs. 5,725 and a small portion to the third respondent for Rs. 275. The Hindu Religious Endowments Board was the first and the executive officer of the temple was the second respondent in the Court below.

2. The order of the learned District Judge states that it was passed by agreement of parties. This statement is challenged by the third respondent, petitioner in this Court. Affidavits of the advocates who appeared for the petitioners and the third respondent in the lower Court, have been filed in this Court and it is a distressing feature of the case that they contradict each other. The learned Judge who tried the petition, has now retired from service and it is not possible to get a report as to exactly what happened before him. It is desirable to have a written record of the agreement of parties where a decree or final order is passed by consent, especially in cases like the present where the Judge is invited to act and to some extent acts extra cursum curiae. In any case, the Court is not compelled to accept a compromise arrived at between the parties on the record where the interests of a public religious endowment are concerned. See Sankaralinga Nadar v. Rajeswari Dorai .

3. Assuming that the order of the Court below was passed with the consent of the, petitioners and the third respondent, the further question that arises is whether the order of the Court below is one passed without jurisdiction. The Hindu Religious Endowments Board, in the exercise of its statutory power, sanctioned an exchange of temple land of the extent of 2 acres 18 cents for an extent of 1 acre 60 cents belonging to the third respondent in the Court below on the assumption that the temple land was worth about Rs. 1,500 or thereabouts. It is now manifest that the temple land would be worth at least Rs. 6,000, if not more, as the District Judge's order itself demonstrates. Under Section 76, Clause (2) of Madras Act II of 1927 the District Judge had the power to modify or cancel the order of the Hindu Religious Endowments Board sanctioning the exchange. He had no power, in my opinion to sanction de novo a wholly different transaction by way of the sale for a cash consideration, holding a kind of auction in Court among the parties to the proceedings before him. The learned District Judge having presumably found that the exchange sanctioned by the Board was injurious to the interests of the temple was bound to set aside the order of the Hindu Religious Endowments Board according sanction. He could not, it seems to me, under the guise of modifying or cancelling the order of the Board, start negotiations for sale of the property to other persons, fix the price and direct a conveyance to be executed. His jurisdiction in this matter is not original but only that of an appellate or revising authority. It is not without significance that directly he made an order for sale of the property for Rs. 6,000 to the parties on record in O.P. No. 11 of 1946, an application by some other persons was made offering Rs. 7,000 for the same property. Whether this offer is genuine or not, I have no means of knowing, but it brings into relief the danger of the District Court usurping functions not assigned to it by Madras Act II of 1927 and taking upon itself the management of the properties of a religious endowment.

4. For these reasons I hold that the order of the Court below in O. P. No. 11 of 1946 was passed without jurisdiction and that the proper order to be passed in the circumstances of this case, is to cancel the order of the Hindu Religious Endowments Board dated 19th March, 1945, according sanction to the exchange of the lands specified in schedule A to O.P. No. 11 of 1946 for the lands specified in schedule B to that petition. The aforesaid order of the Hindu Religious Endowments Board is hereby cancelled. The further order of the District Judge directing a sale of' the temple properties to the petitioners and the third respondent in the Court below in O.P. No. 11 of 1946 in also set aside. Having regard to the conduct of the third respondent in the Court below and her present attempt to upset an order to which she was apparently a consenting party, I direct that she should not have the costs of this civil revision petition.


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