Skip to content


E. Subramania Oduvar Vs. Srivaikuntam Kailasanatha Swami Koil and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in150Ind.Cas.1115
AppellantE. Subramania Oduvar
RespondentSrivaikuntam Kailasanatha Swami Koil and ors.
Cases ReferredPakkiam Pillay v. Seetharama Vadhyar
Excerpt:
inam grants - construction--three kinds of grants--personal grant burdened with service--dismissal of grantee for neglect of duties--suit by temple or, newly appointed office-holder to recover land--main tainability--'devadayam', meaning of. - - 1. i am clearly of the opinion that mr. i shall enjoy the income derived from this inam as my own and perform' the kovil vriti as mentioned in column 7 (column 12 of the above). 3. thus the entries in the inam statement confirm the clear recitals of the inam title deed. 4. if the intention appears clearly that it was a particular individual or a particular family that was intended to be benefited the grant must be construed to be a personal grant; 5. in this case i am clearly of the opinion that the grant was made to sivaprakasa oduvar and his..........531 may be usefully quoted.it was the practice of former rulers to provide for the support of temple officers by grants of this kind and great numbers of such grants exist not only in connection with this temple, as to which see ex. m but also in connection with other temples throughout the country. such inams are liable to be resumed under the conditions of the grant if the services provided for are not dulyrendered, but it has never yet been suggested that the lands so granted are held by the grantees on trust for the temples.4. if the intention appears clearly that it was a particular individual or a particular family that was intended to be benefited the grant must be construed to be a personal grant; the fact that incidentally the temple receives some benefit in the shape of.....
Judgment:

Venkatasubba Rao, J.

1. I am clearly of the opinion that Mr. Sankara Ayyar's argument cannot prevail. He contends that the grant should be construed as one made to the temple. As I observed in a recent judgment (S.A. No 478 of 1979), there are three possible views that may betaken of grants of this kind: first, that the land was granted to the institution; secondly, that it was intended to be attached to a particular office, and thirdly, that it was granted to a named individual, burdened with service, the person so named, happening to be the officeholder, at the time of the grant. The grant in the present case belongs, in my opinion, to the third category. The inam title deed was issued to the individual named Sivaprakasa Oduvar (the 2nd defendant has been assumed to be his descendent); he is not described as representing the temple. In the title deed it is stated, that he shall hold the inam for the service of the chanting of the hymns and the inam 'is confirmed to and your successors * * * so long as the conditions of the grant are duly fulfilled'. There were two assertions made by Sivaprakasa Oduvar before the Inam Commissioner, which have a direct bearing on the point. He stated first.

This inam was granted by the previous Government to our ancestors for reciting the varam in Kailasa Nadhar temple in Srivaikuntam (Column 7 of the Inam statement.

2. The second assertion he made was.

I shall enjoy the income derived from this inam as my own and perform' the kovil vriti as mentioned in Column 7 (Column 12 of the above).

3. Thus the entries in the inam Statement confirm the clear recitals of the inam title deed. There is nothing in the Inam Register, which can be said to evidence a contrary intention. The use of the word 'devadayam', it has been frequently held is not decisive of the question. That expression as the reported cases show, is used in Inam Registers not only in connection with religious grants strictly so-called but also where the ultimate purposes are religious. The following observation from the judgment in Srirangachariar v. Pranatharthihara Chariar 30 Ind.Cas.74 : 2 L.W. 632 : 18 M.L.T. 122 : (1915) M.W.N. 531 may be usefully quoted.

It was the practice of former rulers to provide for the support of temple Officers by grants of this kind and great numbers of such grants exist not only in connection with this temple, as to which see Ex. M but also in connection with other temples throughout the country. Such inams are liable to be resumed under the conditions of the grant if the services provided for are not dulyrendered, but it has never yet been suggested that the lands so granted are held by the grantees on trust for the temples.

4. If the intention appears clearly that it was a particular individual or a particular family that was intended to be benefited the grant must be construed to be a personal grant; the fact that incidentally the temple receives some benefit in the shape of the service to be performed there, can make no difference. That circumstance shows no more than this, that the grant to the individual was burdened with the performance Of the service. It is unnecessary to quote the numerous cases where the grants were construed as personal grants, for each case must depend upon its own facts. Matte Sarrayya v. Vepparathi Vydyanatham 27 Ind. Cas. 963 : 27 M.L.J. 57 : I. L. W. 490, Srirangachariar V. Pranatharthihar Chariara 30 Ind. Cas. 74 : 2 L.W. 632 : 18 M.L.T. 122 : (1915) M.W.N. 531 already cited Neti Anjaneyalux, Sri Venugopal Rice Mill Co. Ltd. 70 Ind. Cas. 466 : 42 M.L.J. 477 : 15 L.W. 513 : 30 M. L.T. 255 : (1922) M.W.N. 307 : A.I.R. 1922 Mad. 197 : 45 M 620 and Vadlamannathy Bala v. Secretary of State : AIR1928Mad282 are a few of the many examples. In Muhammad Esuf Sahib v. Moulvi Abdul Sathar Sahib 49 Ind. Cas. 821 : 42 M. 161 : 25 M.L.T. 141 : 36 M.L. J. 262 : (1919) M. W. N. 228 the grant was held to be in trust for the institution. That belongs to the first of the three categories I have mentioned. Pakkim Pillay v. Seetharama Vadhyar 14 M.L.J. 134 seems to be a case where it was held that the grant appertained to the office. In that case the inam title deed recited that the inam was the absolute property of a named person, and on that account Mr. Sankara Ayyar strongly relies, upon this decision. The learned Judges in taking the view they did, relied upon certain entries in the Inam Statement, Each, case, as I have said, depends upon its own facts and I cannot regard this decision as laying down a rule inconsistent, with the view I am taking. There is yet another case to which I may refer, where it was held that the inam was attached to the office Chidambaram Chetti v. Minammal 23 M. 439. These two cases then are examples of grants belonging to the, second category. I have referred above to the test to be applied in. distinguishing a grant to an institution from a grant to an individual. Similarly, when it has to be decided whether the grant was to a named individual or to the incumbent of an office, the question again is one of intention.

5. In this case I am clearly of the opinion that the grant was made to Sivaprakasa Oduvar and his heirs, subject to the condition of their performing the service. It was the Government that made the grant and neither the temple nor the newly appointed office-holder, can have any right to recover the inam. There is a clear finding that the 2nd defendant, having been guilty of neglect in the discharge of his duties, was rightly dismissed. That being so, the condition of the grant has been broken, and the Government may resume the warn See Kandaala Thiruvenkata Charlu v. Shaik Altoo Sahib 94 Ind. Cas. 458 : 50 M.L.J. 251 : (1926) M.W.N. 314 : A.I.R. 1926 Mad. 511 but the plaintiffs can have no right. After resuming the inam, the Government may in its discretion make it over to the temple but with that I am not concerned.

6. Before concluding this judgment, it remains to point out that I cannot agree with an obiter dictum in Matte Sarrayya v. Vepparathi Vydyanatham 27 Ind. Cas. 963 : 27 M.L.J. 57 : I. L. W. 490. There the grant was construed as a personal grant subject to a condition. Therefore, the learned Judges go on to observe:

There is no ground on which the temple trustees can intervene to prevent the alienation of the inam.

7. Then they point out that the Government might resume and re-grant the inam, if moved to do so. But then comes the last observation, with which, as I have said, I cannot agree.

It may be that if the present servant who is responsible for the alienation were removed from office, her successor in the office could recover the inam on the principle enunciated in Pakkiam Pillay v. Seetharama Vadhyar 14 M.L.J. 134.

8. This statement is, with great respect open to question, for in the case to which they refer, as I have already shown, the grant was not construed as a personal grant but as appurtenant to the office. I fail to see how in the case of a personal grant, either the institution or the successor in office can have any right to use.

9. In the result the second appeal is allowed and the suit is dismissed with costs throughout.


Save Judgments// Add Notes // Store Search Result sets // Organizer Client Files //