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iyyadurai Gurukkal and ors. Vs. Ramasawmy Gurukkal and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in18Ind.Cas.475
Appellantiyyadurai Gurukkal and ors.
RespondentRamasawmy Gurukkal and ors.
Excerpt:
religious institution - right of worship in temple carrying emoluments--alienation by office-holder, whether confers any right on alienee--acquisition of right by prescription--office divided into parts--prescriptive right to minor part, whether carries the right to the major part. - - as stapavanam is only a minor part of the worship, the acquisition of a right by prescription to perform that will clearly not carry with it the right to perform the moolavar worship......duties in connection with the worship of all the deities except that of the moolavar and their right to perform those duties and to receive the emoluments attached thereto are not in dispute before us. the worship of the moolavar itself is divided into parts. at first, what is called the stapavanam worship, i.e., the consecration of holy water has to be performed. it appears from the evidence that there are some emoluments attached to this only. the appellants have been per-performing this stapavanam worship and their right to perform the same is not in dispute. after this consecration of holy water comes the moolavar worship proper. this consists in bathing the idol, offering neivathiyan and deeparathanam etc. the question in dispute is, whether the appellants are entitled to take.....
Judgment:

1. The holder of the Poojamsam office in the Tirutarai temple is bound to perform the worship of various deities in the temple, among others of the Moolavar, two goddesses, Kamaleswari, Shanmugar, &c.;

2. There are separate emoluments attached to the worship of these deities. The appellants before us have been performing these duties in connection with the worship of all the deities except that of the Moolavar and their right to perform those duties and to receive the emoluments attached thereto are not in dispute before us. The worship of the Moolavar itself is divided into parts. At first, what is called the stapavanam worship, i.e., the consecration of holy water has to be performed. It appears from the evidence that there are some emoluments attached to this only. The appellants have been per-performing this stapavanam worship and their right to perform the same is not in dispute. After this consecration of holy water comes the Moolavar worship proper. This consists in bathing the idol, offering neivathiyan and deeparathanam etc. The question in dispute is, whether the appellants are entitled to take part in this worship. They are not entitled to this right by inheritance. They claim as alienees from the 1st appellants maternal grandfather whose right is apparently undoubted. The alienation is invalid in law and cannot confer any right. The appellants, therefore, have to make out their right by prescription. The fact that they have been admittedly performing the stapavanam worship, which is only preliminary to the main Moolavar worship, is, no doubt, in their favour and is some evidence that they performed it in exercise of their right to perform the Moolavar worship. But it is found by both the Courts that, when the 1st appellant's father attempted to perform this Moolavar worship in 1890, he was prevented from doing so by the plaintiffs and the appellants have not been taking part in the Moolavar's worship ever since. The appellants' explanation for their not taking part in the worship has not been accepted by either of the lower Courts. The appellants' Pleader states that they did not perform the duties of the office as the Abisekham had not bean performed. Whether that is so or not, the fact remains that they did not perform the duties of the office or receive the emoluments. And, as they have to make out their title by prescription, their claim, so far as the Moolavar worship is concerned, fails. It is also urged before us that the stapavanam worship is a part of the Moolavar worship and cannot be separated from it. As stapavanam is only a minor part of the worship, the acquisition of a right by prescription to perform that will clearly not carry with it the right to perform the Moolavar worship. Whether any right can be acquired to perform a minor part of the worship, it is unnecessary to decide in this case.

3. We, accordingly, dismiss this second appeal with costs.


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