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S.M.C. Veerappan Vs. the Commissioner, H.R. and C.E. and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1985)2MLJ7
AppellantS.M.C. Veerappan
RespondentThe Commissioner, H.R. and C.E. and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....two grounds were taken by him in. the revision, viz., (1) the petitioner is not a proper person to be appointed as a fit person, because his father, acting in concert with one michael, had alienated the properties belonging to the kattalal and thus acted against the interests of the institution; and (2) the second respondent had no jurisdiction to appoint a fit person, because the temple was having an income of more than a lakh of rupees per year and in such cases it is only the government that has power to appoint trustees or fit person. the first respondent did not go into the merits of the second contention, but sustained the first ground of objection and set aside the order of the second respondent. aggrieved by that order, the petitioner has filed this writ petition.3. the.....
Judgment:
ORDER

S. Natarajan, J.

1. An order passed by the second respondent appointing the petitioner as a Fit Person for a Kattalal of specific endowment known as Sri Raman Chettiar Kattalal attached to Sri Marudheeswarar temple, Thiryvanmiyur, Madras, was set aside by the first respondent herein and it is the validity of that order that is impugned by the petitioner herein.

2. The endowment was created by the petitioner's grandfather and it was managed and administered by him during his lifetime. After his lifetime his son, one Somasundaram Chettiar, who is the petitioner's father, was administering the endowment. Now there is a scheme governing the endowment and as per the said scheme, the endowment has to be ' administered by a Board of trustees consisting of three persons viz., (1) a descendent of the donor; (2) a representative of the Nagarathar community; and (3) a member belonging to the Scheduled caste. All the three persons have to be appointed by the competent authority exercising powers under the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious. and Charitable Endowments Act, 22 of 1959. After Somasundaram Chettiar, the management of the endowment has been vested in the third respondent herein, viz., the Executive Officer of Sri Marudheeswarar temple and the said officer in manging the same. Pursuant to the first respondent passing an order in Na.Ka.No. 85654/83 dated 26-9-83, the appointment of trustees temporarily was stopped. Thereupon the second respondent, appointed the petitioner as a Fit Person to take charge of the Kattalal and administer the endowment. On the strength of that order, the petitioner wanted the third respondent to hand over charge of the endowment to him. But the third respondent disputed the validity of the order of appointment and preferred a revision to the first respondent. Two grounds were taken by him in. the revision, viz., (1) the petitioner is not a proper person to be appointed as a Fit Person, because his father, acting in concert with one Michael, had alienated the properties belonging to the Kattalal and thus acted against the interests of the institution; and (2) the second respondent had no jurisdiction to appoint a Fit Person, because the temple was having an income of more than a lakh of rupees per year and in such cases it is only the Government that has power to appoint trustees or Fit Person. The first respondent did not go into the merits of the second contention, but sustained the first ground of objection and set aside the order of the second respondent. Aggrieved by that order, the petitioner has filed this writ petition.

3. The learned Counsel for the petitioner would say that since the petitioner is a descendant of the donor he is entitled to be appointed as Fit Person and the sins committed by his father, if any, should not be allowed to be visited on him. In support of this argument, the learned Counsel places reliance on Sections 26 and 54 of the Act. Those Sections relate to appointment of hereditary trustees to religious institutions. They can have no application to the controversy on hand, because we are not now concerned with an order of appointment for the post of a hereditary trustee, but an order of appointment for the post of a Fit Person. It may be that the petition, notwithstanding the alleged laches committed by his father, is entitled to be appointed as one of the three trustees, but that entitlement will not clothe him with the right to say that he alone should be appointed as a Fit Person. As a trustee, he will be one of the three persons entrusted with the management of the endowment, but as a Fit Person he will be the sole authority to administer the endowment. Therefore there is nothing wrong in the first respondent taking that fact into consideration and holding that in the interests of the institution, the appointment of the petitioner as a Fit Person and, the entrustment of the entire affairs of the endowment to the petitioner will not be a prudent course to be followed. In such circumstances, the attack of the petitioner on the order passed by the first respondent cannot be countenanced.

4. For the aforesaid reasons the petitioner is not entitled to the issue of a rule and the petition will stand dismissed.


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