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Chinnatha Rowther Vs. Karunji Andi and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectProperty
CourtChennai
Decided On
Reported inAIR1926Mad538
AppellantChinnatha Rowther
RespondentKarunji Andi and anr.
Cases ReferredRama Chandra Panda v. Ram Krishna Mahapatra
Excerpt:
- - no doubt the language of the learned judge is a little indefinite, but we are satisfied that he is of the opinion that the suit properties belong to the temple......they are members of an undivided hindu family. defendants 1 and 2 usufructuarily mortgaged the suit properties to 3rd defendant who hypothecated his rights to 4th defendant. 5th defendant purchased the properties in execution of the decree obtained by the 4th defendant on his mortgage. the properties have been found to belong to a temple of which the plaintiff and defendants 1 and 2 are the dharmakarthas and pujaris. as pujaris they are entitled to appropriate for their own purposes what remains of the income of the suit properties after meeting the puja and other expenses of the temple. the only question for decision in the case is whether the plaintiff can alone maintain the suit. the district munsif decided in favour of the plaintiff. the subordinate judge, relying on a decision.....
Judgment:

1. Plaintiff is 1st defendant's son. Second defendant is 1st defendant's brother's son. They are members of an undivided Hindu family. Defendants 1 and 2 usufructuarily mortgaged the suit properties to 3rd defendant who hypothecated his rights to 4th defendant. 5th defendant purchased the properties in execution of the decree obtained by the 4th defendant on his mortgage. The properties have been found to belong to a temple of which the plaintiff and Defendants 1 and 2 are the dharmakarthas and pujaris. As pujaris they are entitled to appropriate for their own purposes what remains of the income of the suit properties after meeting the puja and other expenses of the temple. The only question for decision in the case is whether the plaintiff can alone maintain the suit. The District Munsif decided in favour of the plaintiff. The Subordinate Judge, relying on a decision in Thandavaraya Pillai v. Shanmugam Pillai [1909] 32 Mad.167 reversed the judgment of the District Munsif and dismissed the plaintiffs suit. Devadoss, J., setting aside the decision of the Subordinate Judge has restored the District Munsif's decree.

2. We think the decision of the learned Judge is right. It was argued on behalf of the 4th defendant, appellant that the learned Judge has not recorded a finding as to whether the suit properties form the private property of the family or belong to the temple of which the plaintiff and Defendants 1 and 2 are the pujaris. No doubt the language of the learned Judge is a little indefinite, but we are satisfied that he is of the opinion that the suit properties belong to the temple.

3. The decision in 32 Mad. 167 is inapplicable to the present case. In that case it was held that, when the right to manage charity properties is vested in a joint Hindu family, its senior male member is entitled to exercise that right vested in the family on its behalf and that, until a partition is effected, no junior member is entitled to management by rotation in the absence of an agreement recognising such right. The learned Judges take care to point out that in the case before them the family had no beneficial interest in the trust properties. This fact distinguishes the present case from the decision in 32 Mad. 167. In the case before us we are not concerned with any question relating to the management of the family properties. The plaintiff having a beneficial interest in the suit properties is entitled to recover them on behalf of the trust, if the alienation is not binding on it, see Rama Chandra Panda v. Ram Krishna Mahapatra [1906] 33 Cal 507. In this view, the plaintiff is alone entitled to institute the suit and recover possession of the properties in question. But the decree should be on behalf of the plaint-mentioned Kaliamman Devasthanam. The decree of the District Munsif restored by Devadoss, J., does not mention that possession is to be recovered on behalf of the devasthanam. We modify the decree of the District Munsif to this extent. In other respects we dismiss the Letters Patent Appeal with costs.


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