1. On the 20th April 1971, the Government of Tamil Nadu, who is the sole respondent before me, issued an order requiring the Commissioner, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (hereinafter referred to as the Commissioner) to arrange for the publication of a notification declaring its intention to extend to Adivara Matam, Vedaranyam, which is a chariatble endowment operating in Tanjore Dist., the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, 1959 (hereinafter referred to as the Act), on the ground that the endowment was being mismanaged by the petitioner. The notification was duly published in pursuance of the provisions of Sub-section (3) of Section 3 of the Act, and in response thereto the petitioner filed his objections on 17th June 1971. before the Commissioner who called upon the petitioner to produce the accounts relating to the endowment. The petitioner complied with the Commissioner's order, but the accounts produced by him were found to be incomplete in material particulars and were returned to him. Thereafter, the Commissioner held an enquiry with which the petitioner was not associated in any manner. A report was made by the Commissioner to the Government, and on the basis thereof, the Government passed an order dated 27-9-1972, holding that the irregularities attributed to the petitioner stood proved and that his objections were without substance, and extending the provisions of the Act to the endowments managed by him. It is that order by which the petitioner feels aggrieved and which he seeks to have quashed by a writ of certiorari on the sole ground that it was passed behind his back, inasmuch as no reasonable opportunity was afforded to him to prove the correctness of the objections raised by him.
2. It is admitted on all hands that the petitioner was never called upon to substantiate the truth of the objections raised by him to the extension of the provisions of the Act to the endowment in question. According to the proviso to Sub-section (3) of Section 3 of the Act, a notification through which the Government publishes a notice of its intention to extend the provisions of the Act to any endowment has to fix a period for the persons interested in the endowment concerned to how cause against the issue of the notification, and the Government has to consider their objections, if any. That such a notice was published is true; but then, the consideration of the objection was limited to the ex parte discussion thereof, which, in the eye of law, is really no consideration at all. For a consideration of the objections to he legally effective, it must be done after hearing the objector and affording him an opportunity of proving the truth of his objections. In the present case, neither the Commissioner nor the Government called upon the petitioner to substantiate his objections by any oral representation or the production of evidence, and in this situation, it cannot be said, that the objections of the petitioner were considered at all. The impugned order, therefore, must be held to have been passed in contravention of the provisions of Section 3 of the Act.
3. In the result, the petition succeeds and is accepted, and the impugned order is quashed. It will, of course, be open to the Government to take fresh proceedings under the Act in the light of the observations made above and in accordance with law. The petitioner shall have his cost of these proceedings. Counsel's fee Rs. 100/-.