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Sami Ayyangar and ors. Vs. Venkatramana Ayyangar and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1934Mad381; 150Ind.Cas.156
AppellantSami Ayyangar and ors.
RespondentVenkatramana Ayyangar and anr.
Cases Referred and Narayana Ayyar v. Kumaraswami Mudaliar
Excerpt:
- - this view involves the negation of the plaintiff's right and his suit must fail. supposing the grant, is construed as one to the temple, the income to be utilized for the remuneration of the archaka, (that is one construction), or supposing again that the grant is regarded as one made to the officeholder for the time being, (this is the other construction), in either case i am clearly of the opinion that the suit is barred. the facts of the present case clearly bring it within the principle of madura devastharnam v. 537. on the footing of his being a trustee therefore his dismissal is invalid and of no effect, and if that be so, he is lawfully in possession of the property and the plaintiff's suit must on that ground fail......the suit is barred. whether right to the property vesta in the temple or in the newly appointed archaka the possession of the person dismissed must be deemed adverse. the defendants have been in possession for more than 12 years from the date of the dismissal of their uncle, and the suit is therefore barred. the facts of the present case clearly bring it within the principle of madura devastharnam v. samia pillai a.i.r. 1922 mad. 406. there, too, the holder of a religious office, to which certain lands were attached, was dismissed but continued in possession of the property, although another person was appointed to the office. it was held that the suit brought more than 12 years from the date of the dismissal was barred under article 144, lim. act. the learned judges in that case.....
Judgment:

Venkatasubba Rao, J.

1. On a construction of the entries in the Inam Register (Ex. 1), I am disposed to hold that the grant was not to the deity but was to Venkatachalla Ayyanger and that it was burdened with service. Column 15 of the Register shows that the name of Rama Ayyangar, Yenkataohalla's father, was entered in the account of 1803 (fasli 1213). The use of the word 'Devadayam' does not necessarily import that the grant was made to the temple, for the words, to which I attach great importance, are those that occur in Col. 21. They are to the following effect:

To be confirmed to the patty in column 16 as long as he continues the performance of the services.

2. The question whether the grant is to an institution represented by its manager, or to a named individual who fills a certain character, is often a difficult one. In this case, the 'present owner' is stated to be 'Kalyana Bamaswami Archaka Yenkataohala Ayyan' (Kalyana Bamaswami being the name of the deity). Whatever ambiguity may attach to these words, column 21, to which I have referred, is explicit and unequivocal. If the party referred to in that column be understood to be the deity, what would be the result?

3. The condition of the performing of the services cannot possibly refer to the deity and the idea of the grant being resumable on the deity failing to render the archaka service, would of course be absurd. The Inam Register shows that the land was continuously held at least for two generations by the family of Venkatacbala, and the intention was no doubt to confirm the grant in his favour burdened with archaka service. This view involves the negation of the plaintiff's right and his suit must fail.

4. If a view, different from what I have expressed, is taken of the grant, the question arises whether the suit is within time. Supposing the grant, is construed as one to the temple, the income to be utilized for the remuneration of the archaka, (that is one construction), or supposing again that the grant is regarded as one made to the officeholder for the time being, (this is the other construction), in either case I am clearly of the opinion that the suit is barred. Whether right to the property vesta in the temple or in the newly appointed archaka the possession of the person dismissed must be deemed adverse. The defendants have been in possession for more than 12 years from the date of the dismissal of their uncle, and the suit is therefore barred. The facts of the present case clearly bring it within the principle of Madura Devastharnam v. Samia Pillai A.I.R. 1922 Mad. 406. There, too, the holder of a religious office, to which certain lands were attached, was dismissed but continued in possession of the property, although another person was appointed to the office. It was held that the suit brought more than 12 years from the date of the dismissal was barred under Article 144, Lim. Act. The learned Judges in that case followed Dhanushkotirayudu v. Venkayala Venhataratnam A.I.R. 1920 Mad. 727. It was there decided that a person in adverse possession of lands annexed to the office of karnam for over the statutory period, acquires a prescriptive right to the lands as against the holder of the office and his successors.

5. As observed in that case, the question is one between the parties inter se and does not concern the right of the Government to resume the land. I may also refer to Subramania Gurukal v. Ammakannu A.I.R. 1921 Mad. 595, which affirms the principle laid down in Dhanushkotira. yudu v. Venkayala Venkataratnam A.I.R. 1920 Mad. 727.

6. Where lands forming part of the emoluments of an office in a temple were alienated and the alienee was in possession for over 12 years claiming, title as owner, it was held that he got ah absolute and indefeasible right to the property. The decision relied on by the learned Advocate-General, Jalandar Thakar v. Jharula Das A.I.R. 1914 P.C. 72, has been considered and distinguished in each of the three oases to which I have referred and I need not therefore deal with it at any length. The facts of the present case are these. In 1906 the defendant's uncle was dismissed and another was appointed in his place who acted for about three years. The plaintiff was then appointed archaka in 1909 and the present suit was instituted within' 12 years from the plaintiff's appointment. It is contended for him that he is not affected by the adverse possession during the period of his predecessor's office and that time runs from the date of his own appointment. This contention must be overruled. Two more oases may be referred to as supporting the view I have taken; Chidambaram Chetti v. Minammal (1900) 23 Mad. 439, and Majavath Alii v. Mujafar Ali A.I.R. 1924 Mad. 201.

7. It is next argued that the position of the archaka is in law that of a trustee and that he cannot be permitted to assert an adverse title until he has obtained a proper discharge from the trust : Srinivasa Moorthy v. Venkatavarada Ayyangar (1911) 34 Mad. 257. It is further-urged that this question not having been raised or considered in the cases to which I have referred above, they require reconsideration. This contention, I must remark, is fatal to the plaintiff's case; for the dismissal of the arohaka is justified on the footing that he was a servant and not a trustee. II he was a trustee (I suppose what is meant is, that he was the trustee of a kattalai or a minor endowment) he could be removed only by the Court and in a properly instituted suit. Naliappa Pillai v. Thengama Naichiar (1898) 21 Mad. 406 and Narayana Ayyar v. Kumaraswami Mudaliar (1900) 23 Mad. 537. On the footing of his being a trustee therefore his dismissal is invalid and of no effect, and if that be so, he is lawfully in possession of the property and the plaintiff's suit must on that ground fail. In the result the second appeal is allowed with costs in this and in the lower appellate Court; the decree of the Subordinate Judge is set aside and that of the District Munsif is restored. The plaintiff is also directed to pay to the Government the court-fee payable on the memorandum of appeal in the lower appellate Court.


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