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The Government of Madras Vs. A.S. Navaneethakrishna Pillai - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. Petn. No. 2013 of 1969
Judge
Reported inAIR1971Mad472; (1971)2MLJ134
ActsHindu Law
AppellantThe Government of Madras
RespondentA.S. Navaneethakrishna Pillai
Cases ReferredGoda Rao v. State of Madras
Excerpt:
- - but the oral evidence adduced in the case clearly establish that this property has been set apart for the performance of the 8th day mandagapaid......and another for the performance of the 8th day mandagapadi in the month of vaikasi in naganathaswami temple of nainarkoil, and that they should be excluded from his holding. the authorised officer upheld the contention of the respondent as regards the lands dedicated to the oorani pilliarkoil trust in seethanendal, but negatived the respondent's objection as regards the lands said to have been dedicated for the performance of the 8th day mandagapadi in naganathaswami temple of nainarkoil village. 2. the matter was taken in appeal to the land tribunal, inter alia against the rejection of the claim for exclusion of the lands said to have been given to the 8th day mandagapadi in naganathaswami temple of nainarkoil. the tribunal, while dealing with that point took note of the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

1. In proceedings initiated by the authorised officer, for fixing the ceiling area of the respondent under the provisions of Madras Act 58 of 1961, the respondent contended, inter alia, that certain lands have been dedicated to two trusts called 'Velayutham Pillai Oorani Pilliarkoil Trust' in the village of Seethanendal, and another for the performance of the 8th day Mandagapadi in the month of Vaikasi in Naganathaswami temple of Nainarkoil, and that they should be excluded from his holding. The Authorised Officer upheld the contention of the respondent as regards the lands dedicated to the Oorani Pilliarkoil trust in Seethanendal, but negatived the respondent's objection as regards the lands said to have been dedicated for the performance of the 8th day Mandagapadi in Naganathaswami temple of Nainarkoil village.

2. The matter was taken in appeal to the Land Tribunal, inter alia against the rejection of the claim for exclusion of the lands said to have been given to the 8th day Mandagapadi in Naganathaswami temple of Nainarkoil. The Tribunal, while dealing with that point took note of the facts that it was not disputed that the respondent had set apart survey No. 111 (part) consisting of 10 acres of land for the purpose of the 8th day Mandagapadi of Naganathaswami temple, that the Special Revenue Inspector when examined by the Authorised Officer had stated that the respondent is regularly conducting the 8th day Mandagapadi for which purpose he has set apart the lands in question, that the entire income from the properties is being used for conducting the said Mandagapadi, that the Karnam of the village and the Executive Officer of the temple had deposed that the respondent is conducting the 8th day Mandagapadi properly and promptly, that neither the respondent nor his family had claimed any interest in the properties in question at any time and that the earlier oral dedication of the property for the performance of the 8th day Mandagapadi in the temple has been affirmed by the agreement dated 15-9-1955 executed by the respondent in favour of the temple undertaking to conduct the 8th day Mandagapadi festival as usual and that in default of such performance to surrender the lands in question to the temple authorities to enable them to perform the 8th day Mandagapadi from and out of the income from the said lands. The Tribunal, while dealing with the view taken by the authorised officer, says that while the document does not by itself create any trust, it affirms that dedication which the respondent has made in favour of the temple for the performance of the 8th day Mandagapadi by his conduct.

3. On the facts and circumstances of this case, I am inclined to accept the view of the Land Tribunal in preference to the view expressed by the Authorised Officer. The facts as spoken to by the witnesses examined on behalf of the respondent establish that the income from the ten acres of land which is in dispute had exclusively been used for the performance of the 8th day Mandagapadi and that neither the respondent nor his family claimed any interest in relation thereto and there has been a clear divestiture of the interest or the ownership by the respondent in those properties even when the Mandagapadi was first started. What the agreement dated 15-9-1955 did was to affirm that trust which has been created by the conduct of the respondent. It is true that the agreement proceeds on the basis that the property is given as a security for the due performance of the obligation undertaken by the respondent to perform the 8th day Mandagapadi in the Naganathaswami temple. But the oral evidence adduced in the case clearly establish that this property has been set apart for the performance of the 8th day Mandagapaid. Hence though the agreement does not itself constitute dedication, there has been an earlier dedication which has been only affirmed by the agreement in question.

4. In Harihar Prasad v. Kesho Prasad AIR 1925 Pat 68 it has been expressed by a Full Bench that an express trust can be proved by inference from conduct of parties without express declaration. Mallick, J., had expressed the view that it is not necessary that an express declaration should be proved and that inference can be drawn from the conduct of the parties sufficient to establish an express trust. Brojoballa Dassi v. Shebaits of Sri Sri Saradiya Durgamata Thakurani : AIR1953Cal285 had laid down the proposition that mere execution of a deed of dedication may not be enough to constitute a valid endowment in Hindu law, and that the material question to find out whether there has been a dedication is to find out whether the executant of the deed had divested himself of the property dedicated and that is to be determined from his acts and conduct. It was also held therein that application of the entire income of the endowed property to the cause of endowment, however, is only one of the tests and not the sole criterion and that if other circumstances lead to the conclusion of an intention to create an endowment, then non-utilisation of the entire income of the endowed property for the purpose of endowment would not justify a contrary view. In Govindlalji v. State of Rajasthan : [1964]1SCR561 the Supreme Court expressed the view that a dedication may be made even without a written document and can be proved by the conduct of the parties. Goda Rao v. State of Madras : [1966]1SCR643 had laid down the principle that to prove that there has been a dedication, the person must show that he has divested himself of the properties endowed and that can be established by the conduct of the party. Having regard to the principles laid down in the above decisions, that a dedication can be deduced from the conduct of the parties. I hold that in this case it is possible to infer the factum of dedication from the conduct of the respondent as spoken to by the witnesses and also established by other circumstances. I therefore uphold the order of the tribunal holding that there has been a dedication of the properties for the performance of the 8th day Manadagpadi festival of Naganathaswami temple as contended by the respondent.

The civil revision petition is therefore dismissed but, in the circumstances, no costs.

5. Revision dismissed.


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