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Kallipattu Oothukattu Mariamman Temple by Its Trustee Sarangapani Gounder Vs. Ayyanperumal Gounder - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1956)1MLJ230
AppellantKallipattu Oothukattu Mariamman Temple by Its Trustee Sarangapani Gounder
RespondentAyyanperumal Gounder
Cases Referred and Madhu Molla v. Babonsa Karikar I.L.R.
Excerpt:
...............the date of presenting the document for registration and was therefore not entitled to present the document. sarangapani relied on exhibit a-6, a mahazar signed by several of the villagers, showing that he had been elected as trustee. the document is dated 22nd june, 1949, but was actually presented before the registrar on 28th june, 1949. the finding of the lower appellate court was that this mahazar was got up after taking legal advice. another mahazar exhibit b-2 stated to be a record of the proceedings of a meeting of the villagers held on 22nd june, 1949, signed by about 50 villagers stated that one balakrishnan and some others were elected as trustees at this meeting. in view of the conflicting evidence as to the election of the trustees of the temple and relying on the deposition.....
Judgment:

Krishnaswami Nayudu, J.

1. The point for determination in this appeal is whether there has been a proper presentation of the document for registration under Section 32 of the Indian Registration Act.

2. One Arunachala Gounder, the paternal uncle of the defendant, was the trustee of a Mariamman Temple, and in the course of his administration as trustee it was found that a sum of Rs. 500 was due from him to the temple. To make good that amount he arranged for the transfer of certain property standing in the name of the defendant to the temple and got the defendant his nephew to execute a sale deed Exhibit A-3 in favour of the plaintiff-temple with himself representing the temple mentioned in the sale deed as trustee. Exhibit A-3 was executed on 21st February, 1949 and Arunachala Gounder the executant died on 28th February, 1949, before the document could be registered. The document was thereafter presented for compulsory registration by the plaintiff Sarangapani Gounder, who represented himself to be the trustee of the temple. The presentation was, however, after four months after the date of execution namely, on 28th June, 1949, with a request that the delay may be excused. The defendant was summoned and he appeared before the Sub-Registrar and denied execution. The Sub-Registrar refused registration and the District Registrar to whom an appeal was filed also refused registration of the document. Hence the present suit out of which this appeal arises was instituted by Sarangapani Gounder under Section 77 of the Indian Registration Act for a decree directing the Registrar to register the document. The trial Court found that Sarangapani Gounder was entitled to present the document for registration and decreed the suit. But in appeal the learned District Judge, after examining the evidence and analysing it, found that the evidence regarding the election of Sarangapani Gounder as trustee on 22nd March, 1949, was vague, discrepant and unreliable and held that he was not a trustee on the date of presenting the document for registration and was therefore not entitled to present the document. Sarangapani relied on Exhibit A-6, a mahazar signed by several of the villagers, showing that he had been elected as trustee. The document is dated 22nd June, 1949, but was actually presented before the Registrar on 28th June, 1949. The finding of the lower appellate Court was that this mahazar was got up after taking legal advice. Another mahazar Exhibit B-2 stated to be a record of the proceedings of a meeting of the villagers held on 22nd June, 1949, signed by about 50 villagers stated that one Balakrishnan and some others were elected as trustees at this meeting. In view of the conflicting evidence as to the election of the trustees of the temple and relying on the deposition of the Village Munsif before the District Registrar, Cuddalore, the learned District Judge held that after the Sub-Registrar raised an objection, Sarangapani Gounder managed to get a mahazar like Exhibit A-6 and presented it before the Registrar to show that he was entitled to present the document for registration. With this finding, I am unable to find any ground for interference. Accepting that finding, it is for consideration whether the presentation by Sarangapani Gounder on 28th June, 1949, of the document executed in favour of the temple represented by the then trustee Arunachala Gounder is proper presentation under Section 32 of the Indian Registration Act.

3. Section 32 provides that every document to be registered shall be presented.

(a) by some person executing or claiming under the same, or, in the case of a copy of a decree or order, claiming under the decree or order, or (b) by the representative or assign of such person, or (c) by the agent of such person, representative or assign, duly authorized by power-of-attorney executed and authenticated in the manner hereinafter mentioned.

4. The person claiming under the sale is the temple. The document was executed in favour of the temple represented by the then trustee. The trustee having died, Sarangapani Gounder must establish that he is the representative of the temple. The person who is competent to represent a temple ordinarily would be its trustee. In view of its having been found that Sarangapani had not been elected as trustee, prima facie the presentation is not proper presentation.

5. It is, however, urged now in Second Appeal that notwithstanding that Sarangapani Gounder has not proved that he has been duly elected as trustee, he is at any rate a person interested in the trust being a worshipper and also entitled to exercise the franchise in electing a trustee and therefore presentation by him would be a presentation by a representative of the temple and reliance is placed on the decisions in Gayeshali Sarkar v. Chintaharan Chanda I.L.R. (1930) Gal. 876 and Madhu Molla v. Babonsa Karikar I.L.R. (1927) Cal. 1008, where it was held that presentation of a document by some of the representatives of an executant who is dead at the time of the presentation would be proper presentation within the meaning of the Act. But this point, however, was not raised in the lower Courts. This contention might be open to the appellant, if it is shown that he is at least one of the trustees elected, and not when it has been found that he was not elected as trustee at all. The representative of a claimant in this case must be a person who is competent to represent the temple either singly or along with others and it is only the trustees of the temple that could properly represent the deity for the purpose of presentation of the document and not any worshipper. However, in this case, if the point had been raised, the question would have arisen as to the accepted mode of appointing trustees, whether by election by the entire body of villagers or by any other constituted body. This point raised by the appellant cannot, however, be considered without further investigation as to the manner in which the temple is administered and as to whether there is any scheme for its administration and other matters, which have not been placed before the Courts below. It is sufficient for the present to observe that any worshipper as such cannot be considered to be a representative of the claimant temple for the purpose of presenting the document under Section 32 of the Indian Registration Act. Since the presentation of a document is a very important and necessary formality which confers jurisdiction on the registering officer to exercise his powers under the Act, it must be in strict accordance with the requirements of Section 32 of the Act.

6. The result is the appeal fails and is dismissed. Each party will bear their respective costs throughout. No leave.


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