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The Hindu Religious Endowments Board Vs. Angara Singaracharyulu and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1943Mad131; (1942)2MLJ705
AppellantThe Hindu Religious Endowments Board
RespondentAngara Singaracharyulu and ors.
Excerpt:
- - the question to be decided in these appeals is whether in the circumstances the board is entitled to levy contributions under sub-section (2) of section 69 as well as under sub-section (1) of that section......institutions in a local area and it may abolish a committee constituted by it. the duties which a temple committee has to perform are specified in sections 35, 39, 43 (2), 51, 53, 55, 56 and 60.4. sub-section (1) to section 69 states:every math or temple and every specific endowment attached to a math or temple shall pay annually for meeting the expenses of the board such contribution not exceeding one and a half per centum of its income as the board may determine:provided that every notified temple other than an excepted temple, and every notified endowment other than an endowment attached to an excepted temple shall pay annually to the board such contribution not exceeding three per centum of its income as the board may determine.5. sub-section (2) says:every temple other than an.....
Judgment:

Alfred Henry Lionel Leach, C.J.

1. The Bast Godavari Temple Committee, which was constituted under the Madras Hindu Religious Endowments Act, 1926, ceased to function in the year 1932, since when, the duties of the Committee have been performed by the Hindu Religious Endowments Board. The question to be decided in these appeals is whether in the circumstances the Board is entitled to levy contributions under Sub-section (2) of Section 69 as well as under Sub-section (1) of that section. The appeals arise out of separate suits filed by the respective trustees of five non-excepted temples in the East Godavari district. The plaintiffs denied that the properties out of which the Board sought to enforce payment of the contribution under Sub-section (2) of Section 69 belonged to the temples. They claimed that they belonged to them as the archakas. They also denied that the Board was entitled to levy contributions under Sub-section (2) of Section 69, even if the properties belonged to the temples.

2. The suits were filed in the Courts of the District Munsiff of Amalapuram and Razole. The District Munsiff found for the Board on all the issues raised. Appeals followed to the Subordinate Judge of Amalapuram. The Subordinate Judge agreed with the District Munsiff except on the question whether the Board had the right to levy contributions under Sub-section (2) of Section 69. In his opinion the contributions contemplated by subsection (2) ceased to be enforceable when the Committee ceased to function. The appeals are from this decision.

3. By virtue of Section 18 of the Act the Board has general superintendence of all religious endowments in this Presidency. It may do all things which are reasonable and necessary to ensure that maths and temples are properly maintained and that all religious endowments are properly administered and duly appropriated to the purposes for which they were founded or exist. By Section 20 the Provincial Government has power to direct the constitution of a Committee for a local area or a class or classes of institutions in a local area and it may abolish a Committee constituted by it. The duties which a Temple Committee has to perform are specified in Sections 35, 39, 43 (2), 51, 53, 55, 56 and 60.

4. Sub-section (1) to Section 69 states:

Every math or temple and every specific endowment attached to a math or temple shall pay annually for meeting the expenses of the Board such contribution not exceeding one and a half per centum of its income as the Board may determine:

Provided that every notified temple other than an excepted temple, and every notified endowment other than an endowment attached to an excepted temple shall pay annually to the Board such contribution not exceeding three per centum of its income as the Board may determine.

5. Sub-section (2) says:

Every temple other than an excepted or notified temple and every specific endowment attached to a temple other than an excepted or notified temple shall pay annually for meeting the expenses of the committee such contribution not exceeding one and a half per centum of its income as the Committee may with the approval of the Board determine.

The contribution leviable under Sub-section (1) is required to meet the expenses of the Board incurred in performing the duties imposed upon it by the Act. Sub-section (2) has been enacted in order that the Committee may have the funds to carry out its duties. The Board says that as it is now carrying out double duties, its own and those of the Committee, it is entitled to both contributions.

6. Section 60-A states:

(1) Where for any local area or any class or classes of institutions in any local area, a committee has not been constituted or is not in existence, the Board and its President may, notwithstanding anything contained in this Act, exercise all or any of the powers and perform all or any of the duties of the Committee and its President respectively, until a Committee is constituted or comes into existence.

(2) The provisions of this Act relating to appeal from the orders of a Committee to the Board or the approval of the actions of a Committee by the Board shall not apply to the orders or actions of the Board acting under Sub-section (1).

Therefore the Board is lawfully performing the Committee's duties in addition to its own and as expense is involved in carrying out the Committee's duties, we consider that it is entitled to the contribution contemplated by Sub-section (2) of Section 69, in addition to the contribution under Sub-section (1).

7. The appeals will be allowed with costs here and below in each case.


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