1. This appeal relates to a temple at Rajavole in the Guntur District which is an 'excepted temple' within the meaning of that expression in the Madras Hindu Religious Endowments Act. Plaintiff as a worshipper at that temple filed a suit under Section 73 of the Act to remove the defendant from his trusteeship, and appoint another trustee in his place. The suit was compromised, and as part, of the terms of the compromise a scheme was framed for the future administration of the temple. Plaintiff then applied under Order 23, Rule 3, Civil Procedure Code, for a decree in the terms of the compromise, and the learned District Judge of Guatur, overruling defendant's objections to the application granted the decree. Defendant now appeals.
2. Of the grounds of objection only two need now be considered. The first was that defendant in consenting to the compromise, had been subjected to undue influence. No serious attempt has been made to substantiate this ground in appeal. I agree with the learned District Judge in rejecting it.
3. The second ground is that the Court had no jurisdiction to frame a scheme and therefore no jurisdiction to incorporate in its decree a scheme framed by the parties. It appears from para. 4 of the learned District Judge's order that before him the proposition that the Court is entitled to frame a scheme under Section 73 of the Act was not disputed. Before me this question is the main subject-matter of the appeal, and as its decision is one affecting the jurisdiction of the Court I cannot refuse to adjudicate upon it merely because of what appears to man unwise and ill-advised concession made in the District Court.
4. To my mind it is clear that the appeal must succeed on the very simple ground that Section 73 does not, on its very face, authorise a suit to frame a scheme. That Section 73 must be construed strictly is Laid down in Vasudevan Adiserpad v. Bhawadasan Nambudiri I.L.R.(1933)Mad. 315 where, on an interpretation of the section as it then stood, it was held that the Court had no power to direct 'accounts and enquiries' and again in Vythilinga Pandarasannadhi v. Ranganatha Mudaliar (1933) 66 M.L.J. 98 : I.L.R. 57 Mad. 362, where the decision was that a suit in regard to the administration or management of a kattalai was not maintainable under the section. The scope of the section has been enlarged by amendments enacted as the result of these judgments but it still does not include any suit to settle a scheme. The reason appears to be obvious, namely, that provision has already been made for the framing of schemes in the case of excepted temples by Sections 62, 63 and 65 of the Act.
5. I accordingly allow this appeal, set aside the order of the learned District Judge and direct that the suit be restored to his file and disposed of according to law. As the appellant failed to present his case properly before the District Judge he must pay his own costs Respondent's costs of the appeal will be costs in. the suit.