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Rev. Kolandai Vs. Rev. Gnanavaram and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectFamily;Property
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1944Mad156; (1943)2MLJ664
AppellantRev. Kolandai
RespondentRev. Gnanavaram and anr.
Cases Referred and Gangi Reddi v. Tammi Reddi
Excerpt:
- - if appavu had given the land to a hindu temple or for the building of a chatram, or for the erection of a watershed, the other coparceners would clearly have been bound. it is perfectly consistent with their religion that god became incarnate in other countries, for the purpose of teaching religion to people there. if we are to bring in religious and doctrinal differences in measuring pieties and charitable dispositions of people, we do more harm than good. 6. leave to appeal is asked for on the ground that the decision on the second point, which is bare of authority, might well be considered by a bench;.....against the younger brother, because it was for a pious purpose made by the managing member of a joint hindu family of a small item of property which lay uncultivated. on appeal, the subordinate judge decreed the plaintiff's suit holding that it was not proved that singaravelu consented to the gift deed and that the alienation was not binding as the gift was in favour of the adherents of an alien religion.2. there are two reasons why the decree of the lower appellate court cannot stand. the plaintiff alleged that survey no. 5/5 was divided between the two brothers in 1936 and that the western half of 60 cents fell to the share of singaravelu. he has sued for the recovery of the western 60 cents on which' a church building has been built by the roman catholic mission who obtained title.....
Judgment:

Chandrasekhara Ayyar, J.

1. The first defendant is the appellant from a decree giving the plaintiff, a Protestant padri, a declaration that he is entitled to 60 cents of land in Survey No. 5/5 and for partition so that the 60 cents may be delivered over. The suit was dismissed by the District Munsiff on two grounds : namely, (a) that the gift of Survey No. 5/5 made by Appavu Kudumburar on 19th November, 1927, under Ex. II to a Roman Catholic Church was with the consent of his brother Singaravelu, P.W. 4, who is the plaintiff's vendor under Ex. F, dated 5th September, 1939, and (b) that the gift, even without such consent, was binding against the younger brother, because it was for a pious purpose made by the managing member of a joint Hindu family of a small item of property which lay uncultivated. On appeal, the Subordinate Judge decreed the plaintiff's suit holding that it was not proved that Singaravelu consented to the gift deed and that the alienation was not binding as the gift was in favour of the adherents of an alien religion.

2. There are two reasons why the decree of the lower appellate Court cannot stand. The plaintiff alleged that Survey No. 5/5 was divided between the two brothers in 1936 and that the western half of 60 cents fell to the share of Singaravelu. He has sued for the recovery of the western 60 cents on which' a church building has been built by the Roman Catholic Mission who obtained title under the gift deed. Both the Courts have found that the partition set up by the plaintiff has hot been proved. On this finding, the suit should have been dismissed as it was not the plaintiff's case that the property was joint property which must be divided between the parties; and he did not ask for such division. On the other hand, the sale deed is of the specific western 60 cents on. the basis that it fell to Singaravelu's share. A suit in ejectment cannot be converted into a suit for partition, and in this case there was no prayer even for any such amendment.

3. Secondly, the gift under Ex. II was within the competence of Appavu as the managing member of the joint family to make. The family owned considerable properties and the land gifted is a very small fraction measuring one acre 20 cents worth Rs. 50 and remaining uncultivated. If Appavu had given the land to a Hindu temple or for the building of a chatram, or for the erection of a watershed, the other coparceners would clearly Have been bound. Sri Thakurji v. Nanda Ahir I.L.R.(1921) All. 560 and Gangi Reddi v. Tammi Reddi (1927) 52 M.L.J. 524 : L.R. 54 I.A, 136 : I.L.R. 50 Mad. 421 (P.C.). Why should a different view prevail merely because the gift was to enable a church being built for the benefit of some Adi Dravida converts to Christianity? The Hindu religion has been the most tolerant religion of the world and the very idea that pious and charitable purposes should refer to and mean objects that can be said to promote a particular faith, creed, or dogma is foreign to its ideals. True piety transcends castes and creeds and whatever is done to advance belief in God and His rule over the universe can be said to be an act of broad-minded piety. All great religions of the world worship the same God, though under different names and a Church is as sacred (at any rate, it should be) to a devout Hindu as a temple must be to a true Christian. Golap Chandra Sarkar Sastri says in his Hindu Law, 8th edition, page 663:

Proselytism was unknown to Hinduism which is distinguished by toleration. Hindus have respect for all systems of religion and are free to admit the divinity of Jesus Christ, and the divine inspiration of Mahomet. It is perfectly consistent with their religion that God became incarnate in other countries, for the purpose of teaching religion to people there.

4. A fundamental unity underlies all living faiths. If we are to bring in religious and doctrinal differences in measuring pieties and charitable dispositions of people, we do more harm than good. I am not prepared to take a narrow view of the pious or charitable purposes for which a Hindu manager can within moderate and reasonable limits alienate joint family property so as to bind his coparceners. There appears to be no warrant for such a restricted interpretation. I hold that Ex II is binding against Singaravelu.

5. The decree of the Subordinate Judge is set aside and that of the District Munsiff restored with costs throughout.

6. Leave to appeal is asked for on the ground that the decision on the second point, which is bare of authority, might well be considered by a Bench; and I grant it.


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