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Arni Sri Vedapureswarar Temple by Its Trustee, N.A. Subbaraya Chettiar Vs. Sundaresa Gurukkal - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1946Mad74; (1945)2MLJ399
AppellantArni Sri Vedapureswarar Temple by Its Trustee, N.A. Subbaraya Chettiar
RespondentSundaresa Gurukkal
Cases ReferredSubramania v. Srinivasa Rao
Excerpt:
- .....in o.s. nos. 129 of 1933 and 521 of 1935, against the appellant temple represented by its de facto trustee, and the temple by its de jure trustee filed o s. no. 632 of 1939, out of which this appeal arises, for a declaration that those two decrees obtained by the first defendant against the de facto trustee did not bind the temple. both the suits were for arrears of salary claimed by the archaka. the trial court held that neither of those decrees was binding on the temple. the subordinate judge on appeal found that the decree in o.s. no. 521 of 1935 was binding, but with reference to the decree in o.s. no. 129 of 1933 he held that it was not binding, and the trustee has appealed against that part of his decree. the archaka has not appealed with regard to the other portions of the.....
Judgment:

Yahya Ali, J.

1. There is a very short point in this appeal. There were two decrees passed in O.S. Nos. 129 of 1933 and 521 of 1935, against the appellant temple represented by its de facto trustee, and the temple by its de jure trustee filed O S. No. 632 of 1939, out of which this appeal arises, for a declaration that those two decrees obtained by the first defendant against the de facto trustee did not bind the temple. Both the suits were for arrears of salary claimed by the archaka. The trial Court held that neither of those decrees was binding on the temple. The Subordinate Judge on appeal found that the decree in O.S. No. 521 of 1935 was binding, but with reference to the decree in O.S. No. 129 of 1933 he held that it was not binding, and the trustee has appealed against that part of his decree. The archaka has not appealed with regard to the other portions of the decree concerning O.S. No. 129 of 1933. The decision of this appeal turns upon the question whether a decree can be validly passed against a de facto trustee so as to bind the temple. The learned advocate for the appellant contends that a de facto trustee has no right of action on behalf of the temple and that he has no right to represent the trust and that consequently in law the decree passed in such circumstances is not binding on the trust, and in support of that proposition he relies on Vedakkannu Nadar v. Ranganadha Mudaliar : AIR1938Mad982 a decision of a Division Bench consisting of Venkatasubba Rao and Abdur Rahman, JJ. There it was held that:

A de facto trustee, as such, has no locus standi to maintain an action on behalf of the trust even if the action is taken to have been instituted for the benefit of the trust. His position is that of an intermeddler or a wrong doer (unless on the facts of each case a presumption can be raised in Ms favour of being a trustee de jure). He cannot confer any rights on himself by committing a wrong, although he may assume liability on account of his conduct. He is really no other than what is known to law as a trustee de son tort.

2. With this decision the learned Counsel for the respondent does not quarrel. The position here is entirely different. This is not a case where the de facto trustee tried to intermeddle. It was a case where an action was brought against the temple in respect of a certain claim and it has been found as a fact that the de facto trustee was not negligent in the defence of the suit. There is no case of fraud and there is no vitiating element so far as the operational effect of the decree is concerned. The learned Subordinate Judge referred to Subramania v. Srinivasa Rao : AIR1940Mad617 and argued therefrom that if a de facto trustee in possession and management of a temple can bring a suit for the recovery of the temple lands, as held in that decision, a decree could also be passed against the temple represented by him. I am of the opinion that that view is correct. In this view there is no reason for interference with the finding of the learned Subordinate Judge. The appeal is dismissed with costs.


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