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Sundarammal Minor by Next Friend P.V.E. Ponnuswami Chettiar Vs. Jagadambal Ammal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies;Family
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1939Mad65; (1938)2MLJ1013
AppellantSundarammal Minor by Next Friend P.V.E. Ponnuswami Chettiar
RespondentJagadambal Ammal and ors.
Cases Referred and Ramaswami Goundan v. Singaperumal Kadavul
Excerpt:
- - as regards the trust properties the question was argued as a preliminary issue, whether the suit should not fail for non-conformity with the provisions of section 92, and that is the only question we are concerned with in this appeal. 42 has failed to take notice of the earlier full bench judgment. 197 and the cases following it). these cases no doubt related to a question of limitation, but the reasoning on which they rest furnishes the answer to the present contention as well......as well. mr. krishnaswami aiyar was not prepared to go the length of contending that when a male trustee holds the office, a person who may have the chance of succeeding him on his death will be entitled to maintain in his own right a declaratory suit relating to the trust property or office, on the analogy of a hindu reversioner. if as pointed out in the above cases, the male trustee's tenure of the office is in no way different from, the female trustees tenure of the office, there is no, justification for differentiating between the position of the two as regards the status of or the remedies open to the next successor to the office. it is true that the decisions in venkatasubbamma v. venkatarangam chetti : (1916)31mlj280 and ramaswami goundan v. singaperumal kadavul (1925) 50.....
Judgment:

Varadachariar, J.

1. The plaintiff appeals against a decree denying relief to her in respect of the plaint B schedule properties, on the ground that the suit has not been instituted in conformity with the provisions of Section 92, Civil Procedure Code. These properties belonged to one Rajamanickam Chetti who by his will dedicated them to certain public charitable purposes and appointed one Sivaraman Chetti to be the hereditary trustee for the administration of these charities. Sivaraman Chetti died in May, 1933, leaving him surviving, the first defendant who was his third wife, the second defendant who is her daughter and the plaintiff who was his daughter by the deceased second wife. The suit out of which this appeal arises was instituted by the next friend of the plaintiff, making various allegations of mismanagement, waste, etc., against the first defendant both in respect of the private estate of Sivaraman Chetti and the trust properties. As regards the trust properties the question was argued as a preliminary issue, whether the suit should not fail for non-conformity with the provisions of Section 92, and that is the only question we are concerned with in this appeal.

2. It has not been denied that the B schedule properties are properties forming the subject-matter of a public charitable trust; nor has it been denied that the plaint seeks relief on the footing of a breach of trust by the first defendant who is admittedly the present trustee. The plaint does not in terms ask for her removal but prays for the appointment of a receiver for the preservation and management of the properties and the performance of the charities. As the learned Subordinate Judge points out, this is in effect a prayer for the removal of the first defendant, from the trusteeship. It is certainly a request for the directions of the Court in respect of the administration of the trust.

3. That the view of the lower Court is supported by the decisions in Venkatasubbamma v. Venkatarangam Chetti : (1916)31MLJ280 and Ramaswami Goundan v. Singaperumal Kadavul (1925) 50 M.L.J. 42 is admitted by the learned Counsel for the appellant; but he contends that Venkatasubbamma v. Venkatarangam Chetti : (1916)31MLJ280 must in effect be treated as having been overruled by the decision of the Full Bench in Appanna Poricha v. Narasinga Porichab : AIR1922Mad17 . He also suggests that Ramaswami Goundan v. Singaperumal Kadavul (1925) 50 M.L.J. 42 has failed to take notice of the earlier Full Bench judgment. He contends that the present suit is not one instituted by the plaintiff as representing the public but is intended to protect the individual or personal right of the plaintiff who in due course will be entitled to succeed to the management of the trust as reversioner to Sivaraman Chetti.

4. We are prepared to assume for the purposes of this case that Section 92, Civil Procedure Code, does not govern a suit instituted by a plaintiff for the vindication or protection of his own personal or individual right. The real question for determination is whether the present suit is one of that kind. The plaintiff is certainly not in the position of a co-trustee, because even in respect of the private properties of the deceased male owner the position of the presumptive reversioner is merely that of a person with a spes successionis. The learned Counsel for the appellant, while granting that the plaintiff has no present interest in the office of trustee, invokes the analogy of the action allowed to a reversioner under the Hindu law to maintain a declaratory suit during the lifetime of the widow. But that analogy is not a true analogy; because, as regards trusteeship, there is no difference between a male holder of the office and a female holder of the office vide Pydigantam Jagannadha Row v. Rama Doss Patnaik I.L.R.(1904) Mad. 197 and the cases following it). These cases no doubt related to a question of limitation, but the reasoning on which they rest furnishes the answer to the present contention as well. Mr. Krishnaswami Aiyar was not prepared to go the length of contending that when a male trustee holds the office, a person who may have the chance of succeeding him on his death will be entitled to maintain in his own right a declaratory suit relating to the trust property or office, on the analogy of a Hindu reversioner. If as pointed out in the above cases, the male trustee's tenure of the office is in no way different from, the female trustees tenure of the office, there is no, justification for differentiating between the position of the two as regards the status of or the remedies open to the next successor to the office. It is true that the decisions in Venkatasubbamma v. Venkatarangam Chetti : (1916)31MLJ280 and Ramaswami Goundan v. Singaperumal Kadavul (1925) 50 M.L.J. 42 have been rested on wider grounds; but the actual result reached in those cases is in accord with the view to which the above reasoning leads. We accordingly hold that the learned Subordinate Judge was right in holding that the suit, so far as it related to the plaint B schedule properties, was governed by Section 92, Civil Procedure Code.

5. The appeal fails and is dismissed with costs - one set.


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