1. This is a Petition by the trustees of the Visweswaraswami and Veeraraghavaperumal Devasthanam, Tirupur, that the order passed by the District Collector, Coimbatore, on 5th September, 1957, in his Proceedings No. 5692/5 7-C-7, be removed to the file of this Court and the said order be quashed.
2. Survey Nos. 163 and 165 of Tirupur Village, which correspond to present Town Survey Nos. 902 and 899 of Tirupur Town, were granted in inam to Sri Visweswaraswami by Hyder Nawab of Srirangapatam for the performance of pooja in the temple of the Swami at Tirupur. The Inam Commissioner found that the temple was in existence and the service was being performed and that the person who was the archaka in the temple at that time was one Kumaraswami Ayyan, a minor aged five years, who was having the services performed by a gumastha called Kuppayyan. The inam was confirmed to the archaka so long as he continued the performance of the service and Inam title deed No. 1052 was issued in his name in December, 1863.
3. On application made by the trustee of the temple in 1956, the Sub-Collector of Pollachi found, after enquiry held by him as Collector under Section 35(2)(a) of Madras Act, XXX of 1951, that the descendants of Kumaraswami were not performing and had not arranged for the performance of pooja in the temple; that pooja was being performed by some other persons; that the inam lands had been alienated and that the alienees were in possession of the lands. Since the lands had been granted in inam for the performance of pooja, the Collector decided on resumption and regrant of the inam lands. Accordingly he passed an order under Section 35(2)(a) of Act, XXX of 1951, holding that the holder of the inam had failed to perform or to make necessary arrangements for the performance of the archaka service in the temple and that the lands had been alienated and directing that the inam be resumed and be regranted as an endowment to Sri Visweswaraswami temple. On appeal by the persons in possession of the inam lands, to the District Collector, the District Collector set aside the order of the Collector in regard to a half of each of the lands, namely, Survey Nos. 163 and 165. The trustee applies that the order of the District Collector be quashed in so far as it modified the order of the Collector.
4. The District Collector finds that a half of Survey No. 163 and a half of Survey No. 165 'had got into the hands of persons who were strangers to the archaka service as early as in 1883' and that the alienees had perfected their title as regards those portions of the lands by adverse possession before the coming into force of Act, XXX of 1951. In the judgment pronounced by us today in W.P. No. 434 of 1957, we have held that, assuming that the power conferred by Section 35(2) on the Collector to resume and regrant the lands granted in inam by former Rulers of the country for the performance of pooja in a temple cannot be exercised in relation to lands which, on the date of the Collector's proceedings, are in the possession of persons unconnected with the services or the temple on the ground that such persons have acquired an indefeasible title by adverse possession, such possession should have been held for 60 years prior to the coming into force of Madras Act, XI of 1934, by which Section 44-B was introduced in Madras Act, IX of 1927. On the District Collector's findings, adverse possession proved by the contesting respondent did not extend to sixty years and was therefore not of sufficient duration to confer on them an indefeasible title. The District Collector's order is liable to be quashed for errors of law appearing on the face of the record.
5. The order is hereby quashed. No costs.