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S.V. Kallabiran Pillai Vs. K. Peria Venkataramana - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
CourtChennai
Decided On
Judge
Reported in68Ind.Cas.183
AppellantS.V. Kallabiran Pillai
RespondentK. Peria Venkataramana
Cases ReferredPara Koothan v. Para Kulla Vandu
Excerpt:
specific relief act (i of 1877), section 9 - archaka of temple, suit by, against trustee for possession, maintainability of--master and, servant, relationship of, as between trustee and archaka. - .....trustee, has done is to dismiss the plaintiffs, who are only archakas. it has been decided that hereditary archakas are only servants of the temple subject to the disciplinary jurisdiction of the trustee: seshadri aiyangar v. ranga batter 10 ind. cas. 548 , they have a right of suit if they are improperly prevented from performing the duties of their office or dismissed without good and proper reasons. the possession, therefore, of the archakas of the temple is only that of servants. the trustee is entitled to the possession of the trust property and an archaks, or any other servant of the temple, has possession on behalf of the trustee or by his leave or license, implied or express. the learned subordinate judge has erred in thinking that be bad jurisdiction to entertain a suit under.....
Judgment:

1. This is an application to revise the order of the Subordinate Judge of Tinnevelly under Section 115 of the Civil Procedure Code. In this case, the plaintiffs brought a suit order Section 9 of the Specific Relief Act to recover possession of a temple building on the strength of title as trustees from the Vanamamalai Jeer and his servants who dispossessed them. The defendants contended 'that the plaintiffs were neither trustees of the temple nor the hereditary Archahas of temple, that they were merely ordinary servants in Perumal temple and the shrines attached thereto and that they were removed for misconduct by the first defendant, the deer, and that they were not entitled to recover possession of the temple.

2. The Subordinate Judge held that the plaintiffs were not the trustees of the plaint temple and that first defendant was the trustee and that the Archakaship of the plaint Hanumar temple was hereditarily vested in the plaintiffs, family. He also found that 'the plaintiffs were in possession as Archakas and in the exercise of their right as Archakas and not as trustees of the temple' and that ' they were in a sense dispossessed within six months prior to suit.'

3. The decretal portion of the judgment runs thus: 'There will be a decree only for qualified possession and not exclusive absolute possession, namely, possession which Archakas are entitled by law to have for the proper discharge of their duties.

4. It is contended before me by Mr. Narasimha Aiyengar for the first defendant, that possession contemplated by Section 9 of the Specific Relief Act is not the possession of a servant or joint possession of owners. The first paragraph of Section 9 reads thus, 'if any person is dispossessed without his consent of immoveable property otherwise than in due source of law, he or any person claiming through him may, by suit, recover possession thereof, notwithstanding any other title that may be set up in such suit.' This section is intended to provide a summary remedy for cases of dispossession of immoveable property, except in the course of law, on proof of dispossession within six months, the Court will direct the restoration of possession irrespective of the title of the parties. What the first Defendent, the trustee, has done is to dismiss the plaintiffs, who are only Archakas. It has been decided that hereditary Archakas are only servants of the temple subject to the disciplinary jurisdiction of the trustee: Seshadri Aiyangar v. Ranga Batter 10 Ind. Cas. 548 , They have a right of suit if they are improperly prevented from performing the duties of their office or dismissed without good and proper reasons. The possession, therefore, of the Archakas of the temple is only that of servants. The trustee is entitled to the possession of the trust property and an Archaks, or any other servant of the temple, has possession on behalf of the trustee or by his leave or license, implied or express. The learned Subordinate Judge has erred in thinking that be bad jurisdiction to entertain a suit under Section 9 of the Specific Relief Act by a servant against a master, no doubt the finding that plaintiffs are only Archakas was arrived at after the whole of the evidence was recorded. The Subordinate Judge should have dismissed the suit on this ground alone. The respondents' Vakil relies on Ghelabhai Gatrishankar v. Hargovan Ramji 12 Ind. Cas. 928 . Rule 1171 and Girjashankar Dati v. Murlidhar Narayan 59 Ind. Cas. 271 22 Bom L. 1202 for the contention that hereditary Archakaship is immoveable property under the Hindu Law. No doubt, the Hindu Law treats hereditary Archakaship and hereditary priesthood as immoveable property and divisible among coparceners. In Southern India, village barbers when they effect a division in their family, divide the village into so many shares among the coparceners. Such a custom is recognised by the Hindu Law. This fact would not make hereditary Archakaship or any other office immoveable property under Section 9 of the Specific Relief Act.

5. The petitioner contends that joint possession cannot be given vide Para Koothan v. Para Kulla Vandu 39 Ind. Cas. 753 , and, the respondent relies on Ajiman Bibi v. Reasat Sheikh 28 Ind. Cas. 570 : 19 C. W. N. 1117 for the position that joint possession could ba given under Section 9 of the Act. Sitting as a Single Judge I am bound by a decision of a Bench of this Court in Para Koothan v. Para Kulla Vandu 39 Ind. Cas. 753 But I do not decide this case on this point. I hold that Section 9 of the Specific Relief Act is not applicable to a case like the present. Moreover, it is difficult to see how the decree could be executed effectively. Both the plaintiffs and the defendants put their case too high before the Subordinate Judge and the consequence was that a lot of evidence was adduced and the Court had to record its findings on the points raised.

6. Considering that there is a remedy open to the parties and that the findings of the Subordinate Judge are evidently just, I am not prepared to exercise my discretion under Section 115 in favour of the first defendant. The petitioner and the other defendants were responsible for an elaborate enquiry in consequence of their denial of the plaintiffs' right to hereditary Archakaship in the result I dismiss the petition without costs.


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