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Ramaswami Chettiar Vs. Karumuthu Sivalingam Chettiar - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Case NumberCivil Revn. Petn. No. 1694 of 1956
Judge
Reported inAIR1957Mad597
ActsCode of Civil Procedure (CPC) , 1908 - Sections 92 and 115
AppellantRamaswami Chettiar
RespondentKarumuthu Sivalingam Chettiar
Appellant AdvocateM.S. Venkatarama Iyer, Adv.
Respondent AdvocateP.S. Chandrasekhara Iyer and ;P.S. Ramachandran, Advs.
DispositionPetition dismissed
Cases ReferredGopulakrishnier v. Ganapali Iyer
Excerpt:
.....passed by subordinate judge adding respondent as co-plaintiff in suit - respondent resided in suit chattram on occasions - respondent was beneficiary and vitally interested in suit property - no reason to interfere with order passed by court below adding respondent as co-plaintiff - petition liable to be dismissed. - - .alleging that he was a prominent citizen of locality, and a man interested in the chattram at its proper management, and an honorary magistrate, and that he could also effectively prosecute the suit unlike the present plaintiffs who were not financially capable enough to do that. his application was opposed by the first defendant on the ground that he was not motivated by any good idea, for the welfare of the chattram, in getting himself added, but was motivated..........therein.learned counsel for the respondent urged that the respondent had actually resided in the suit chattram on occasions, and was therefore a beneficiary, and that, even otherwise, he was residing only three miles away, and had saved the trust properties from being sold away by a decree-holder, and had got the attachment released, and was a lessee in respect of the trust tope by being the highest bidder at an auction held by a commissioner of court for rs. 7000/-, and was therefore vitally interested in the trust and its proper management.he relied on the ruling of a bench of this court in gopulakrishnier v. ganapali iyer, 58 ind cas 124: air 1920 mad 238 (3). where sadasiva aiyar and spencer jj., have held that a person who has devoted time and energy for placing the affairs of a.....
Judgment:
ORDER

Panchapakesa Ayyar, J.

1. This is a petition filed by Rama-swami Chetliar, the first defendant in O. Section No. 3 of 1956 on the file of the Subordinate Judge of Slvaganga, against the order of the learned Subordinate Judge adding the respondent, Karumuthu Sivalingam Chettiar, as a co-plaintiff in that suit. That was a suit filed by five persons against the. respondent and 30 other defendants.

It was alleged in the plaint that the ancestors of defendants l to 13 endowed considerable properties for the maintenance of an Annadana Chattram in which pilgrims to Rameswaram were-allowed to rest, and Brahmins and others, among them, allowed to feed free; that there has been mismanagement, including alienations, regarding the trust properties by defendants 1 to 13, and that defendants 14 to 31 were the alienees in respect of some of the properties.

The original plaintiffs, as persons interested in the trust and residents of the locality, where the Annadana Chattram was situated, had filed the suit after obtaining the consent of the Advocate-General under Section 92, C. P C. The respondent, Sivatingam Chettiar, applied to be added as a co-plaintiff, under Order 1, Rule 10, C. P. C..alleging that he was a prominent citizen of locality, and a man Interested in the Chattram at its proper management, and an honorary magistrate, and that he could also effectively prosecute the suit unlike the present plaintiffs who were not financially capable enough to do that.

His application was opposed by the first defendant on the ground that he was not motivated by any good idea, for the welfare of the Chattram, in getting himself added, but was motivated only by his own selfish desire to make some profit out of it, and that he was not a beneficiary under this charily, one of the persons who could be said to be interested in the Chattram under the ruling of the Bench of this court in T. R. Ramachandra Aiyar v. Parameswaran Unni, ILR 42 Mad 360: AIR 1919 Mad 384 (A).

The learned Subordinate Judge overruled thisobjection, observing that the impleading of aparty in a suit like this need not be on the soleground that he is a beneficiary under the trust,and that, even though the respondent was urgedto be not a beneficiary under this trust, he couldbe added as he was interested In the trust, as hewas a Hindu residing near the trust properties and.was an honorary magistrate and an influentialperson.

2. I have perused the records and heard the learned counsel on both sides. Mr. M. Section Venkatarama Aiyar. learned counsel for the petitioner, urged that the mere fact that the respondent was a Hindu and an honorary magistrate, and a rich and influential man of the locality, would not be sufficient for adding him as a party to the suit, and that, under the ruling in ILR 1942 Mad 360: (AIR 1919 Mad 384) (A)', the word 'interested' in Section 92, C. P. C., denotes an interest which is' substantial and not casual or sentimental, or remote, and that the mere right of a Hindu to worship in a temple would not be such interest,' unless it was shown that he was actually exercising the right of worship in the temple, and making offerings therein.

Learned counsel for the respondent urged that the respondent had actually resided in the suit Chattram on occasions, and was therefore a beneficiary, and that, even otherwise, he was residing only three miles away, and had saved the trust properties from being sold away by a decree-holder, and had got the attachment released, and was a lessee in respect of the trust tope by being the highest bidder at an auction held by a Commissioner of Court for Rs. 7000/-, and was therefore vitally interested in the trust and its proper management.

He relied on the ruling of a Bench of this Court in Gopulakrishnier v. Ganapali Iyer, 58 Ind Cas 124: AIR 1920 Mad 238 (3). where Sadasiva Aiyar and Spencer JJ., have held that a person who has devoted time and energy for placing the affairs of a Chattram on a proper footing, or otherwise for safeguarding the chattram, would be a person interested in the chattram, especially if he lives in the neighbourhood also. Mr. Venkatarama. Aiyar contended that the respondent had not saved the ehattram properties from sale by a decree-holder and got the attachment released.

Thereupon, the respondent filed an affidavit which showed that the properties were attached in respect of a decree for Rs. 3500/- obtained by the Zamindar of Sivaganga and that the respondent eventually took the tope of the ehattram on lease for Rs. 7000/- as the highest, bidder at the auction held by a Commissioner of Court, the decree debt was paid and the attachment raised.

Mr. Venkatarama Aiyar urged that; even so, a lessee of the Chattram properties was not a person interested in the proper management of the chattram, especially when the respondent had taken a lease for a far lower figure than could have been got.

His contention that Rs. 10,000/- could have been gob by the lessee, as against Rs. 7000/- for which it was knocked down-by the Commissioner in the respondent's favour, was not proved There was nothing to show that fraud was played at the auction held by the Commissioner, or that there was any bidder, who was willing to offer one pie more than the Rs. 7000/-, offered by the respondent. . The fact remains that but for that auction and the respondent's bid and payment of Rs. 7000, there was great danger of the chattram properties, which had been attached, being sold away by the decree-holder. In my opinion, this fact itself is enough to make the respondent a person interested in this suit.

To say that the lessee for such a big amount in respect of the suit properties will not be affected by the fate of the chattram and its management does not-stand to reason. He will be a person interested in the proper management of the chattram even if it were only for the safety of his own lease. Besides, the respondent is a resident of the locality and is a Hindu entitled to take advantage of the benefits of the Chattram.

Though the respondent's counsel had urged that he did take advantage of such benefits, and did stay once in the chattram on his way to Rameswaram, and is, on that ground, also interested in the suit, the fact of taking such benefit, as alleged by him, has not been relied on by the lower court for directing him to be added as a co-plaintiff. Indeed, the truth or falsehood of this allegation of the respondent has not been gone into.

But I do not consider a remand necessary for that purpose, since the respondent is even otherwise interested in the chattram within the meaning of the ruling of the Bench of this court in 58 Ind Cas 124: AIR 1920 Mad 238 (B), and indeed, in my opinion, even within the meaning of the ruling in ILR 42 Mad 360: AIR 1919 Mad 384 (A). Communications are far more rapid now, and Hindu Society is being integrated, and interests are broader.

3. I may add that, even otherwise, this court will not interfere in revision under Section 115, C. P. C., with the lower Court's order, exercising its discretion Judicially, as such interference will be unwarranted, and will not be within the scope of Section 115, C. P. C., according to the ruling of the Privy Council in Venkatagiri Ayyengar v H. R. E. Board Madras , and of the Supreme Court in Keshardeo Chamria v Radha Kissen Chamria : [1953]4SCR136 .

The tower court had undoubted jurisdiction to entertain the application and pass orders on it, and there was no defect of procedure or error in procedure, and even if there was an error of law or fact in the lower court's order as alleged by Mr. Venkatarama Aiyar, that will not confer Jurisdiction on this court for interfering in revision under Section 115, C.P. C.

4. Mr. Venkatarama Aiyar urged that, in any event, the addition -of the respondent as a co-plaintiff was not correct, or necessary, and that he could have been, if at all added as a co-defendant. I cannot agree. If the suit is to be effectively prosecuted, it could, be done only by one who is added as a co-plaintiff. No doubt, even if the respondent is added as a co-defendant, he can ask for being transposed as a plaintiff, If the plaintiffs on record fail to prosecute the suit effectively or collude with defendants 1 to 31, as urged by Mr. Venkatarama Aiyar.

But there is no need to interfere with the order of the lower court directing the respondent to be added as a co-plaintiff. Indeed, the petitioner will get an advantage therefrom. If the suit is held to be frivolous and is dismissed, he can get his costs from this respondent who is admittedly rich and car pay.

5. In the end, therefore, the civil revision petition deserves to be and is hereby dismissed, but, in the peculiar circumstances, without costs. The records will be sent to the lower court expeditiously. The suit also should be expedited.


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