1. The petitioner is the Raja of Ramnad and he files this petition in his capacity as the sole and hereditary trustee of the Ramanathapuram Devasthanam and Chatrams. The petitioner was the hereditary trustee of several de-vasthanams each of which owned estates which had been notified and taken over by the Government. The claim of the petitioner is that the compensation payable' to the several institutions of which he is the trustee has not been calculated in accordance with law and that a much lesser sum than that which is legally due is being paid. The relief, therefore, which he seeks is the issue of 'a writ of mandamus or other appropriate direction directing the State of Madras ' to calculate the compensation payable to the institutions under Sections 38(2) and 54(1) of Act XXVI of 1948 by reference to the original rate unreduced by Act XXX of 1947 and to make payment thereof or in the alternative to take into account the compensation provided in Section 5(1) of Act XXX of 1947 and to make payment accordingly. In the affidavit in support of the petition he has set out in Schedule A the villages which have been taken over by the Government and the several temples and chatrams to whom these villages belong. The number of these institutions is numerous.
2. When the petition in this form was filed, the office raised an objection that a single petition was not maintainable and that as the petitioner was asserting his rights as trustee of distinct institutions his right to relief in respect of these institutions could not be clubbed together so as to enable him to file a single petition. As learned Counsel for the petitioner contested this position, the matter has been placed before me for orders.
3. I have heard Mr. Kesava Ayyangar learned Counsel for the petitioner. He urged that what was being agitated in this petition was an assertion of the duty of the trustee and as there was unity in this respect by reason of the several trusts being under a single trustee a single petition was not open to objection. I am not persuaded that this view is right. What the petitioner-trustee is asserting is not any individual right of his own but a right in right of the trust. Therefore there are as many complaints voiced in this petition as there are trusts or institutions and the mere fact that there is a common manager or a single individual who is entitled to act on behalf of all the trusts cannot be used to blur the legal position, that it is the right of the institutions which is sought to be asserted or protected in this petition. I do not see any difference between the present case and the one where the managers of several institutions authorise by a power of attorney one common individual to take action on their behalf. The fact that the authorisation here is by law and not by the act of parties does not, in my opinion, make any difference-It is no doubt true that the points that arise in regard to each institution are identical in all the cases. The identity of the points to be decided, however, cannot impart unity to the right, the alleged violation of which gives rise to this writ petition. In my judgment the objection taken by the office is right and the present case is governed by the rule referred to in the office note. The petitioner must file as many petitions as there are institutions whose rights he seeks to assert.