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Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Sankarachariar Swamigal Mutt Represented by Sri M.V. Krishnamurthy, Sri Karyam and Agent Vs. Secretary, Revenue Department, Government of Tamil Nadu and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectTrusts and Societies
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1974)2MLJ153
AppellantSri Kanchi Kamakoti Sankarachariar Swamigal Mutt Represented by Sri M.V. Krishnamurthy, Sri Karyam a
RespondentSecretary, Revenue Department, Government of Tamil Nadu and ors.
Excerpt:
- .....occurring in sub-rule 6 of rule 15 refers to the rule 15 as such and not to any particular sub-rule of rule 15. similarly, rule 24 of the rules deals with investment of security furnished. sub-rule (1) of this rule states: 'the cash security furnished by an officer or servant shall be invested as early as possible in any one of the approved forms of securities, with the consent of the officer or servant, and the interest earned by such security shall be paid to him.' there is sub-rule (2) to this rule 24 and that sub-rule states: 'no interest shall be payable on the security amount till it is invested in the manner indicated in sub-rule (1).' therefore, there is the clearest evidence in the rules themselves that the rulemaking authority intended to make a distinction between a rule.....
Judgment:
ORDER

M.M. Ismail, J.

1. The petitioner in this writ petition prays for the issue of a writ of certiorari to quash the order dated 21st December, 1967 of the third respondent, as confirmed by the second respondent and the first respondent. The petitioner is Sri Kanchi Kamakoti Sankarachariar Swamigal Mutt represented by Sri Karyam and Agent. In the Audit Notes of the Mutt relating to the period from 1st January, 1966 to 31st March, 1966, the Assistant Examiner of Temple Accounts pointed out that the Manager of the Mutt had drawn travelling allowance in excess of the amount admissible under the Tamil Nadu Travelling Allowance Rules. In reply to this audit objection, the agent of the Mutt by his reply dated 10th November, 1967 stated that the rules framed under Section 116 (2) .(xxiii) of the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, 1959 (hereinafter called the Act) were not applicable to the servants of the Mutt. The third respondent viz., the Deputy Commissioner, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments, by his reference dated 21st December, 1967 directed the recovery of the amount paid in excess of the amount payable as per the Travelling Allowance Rules. The petitioner, thereupon, requested the third respondent to revise his order in view of the fact that Sections 56 and 57 of the Act which related to the service conditions of servants of religious institutions were not applicable to the Mutts. The third respondent informed the petitioner on 25th June, 1969 that the Travelling Allowance Rules were framed under Section 116 (2) (xxiii).of the Act and not under Section 56 of the Act and as such Rule 14 (2) of the Rules framed under Section 116 (2) (xxiii) is applicable to the servants of the Mutt also. The petitioner filed a revision petition to the Commissioner, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments, the second respondent herein who dismissed the same on 15th November, 1969. The petitioner preferred a further revision petition to the Government and the Government dismissed the same in G. O. Rt. No. 1149, Revenue dated 28th June, 1971. It is to quash these orders the present writ petition has been filed.

2. The Government have framed rules called the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious Institutions (Officers and Servants) Rules, 1964 (hereinafter called the Rules) in exercise of the powers conferred by Section 116 (2) (xxiii) of the Act. Rule 14 of the Rules is as follows:

14. Pay and emoluments of officers and servants: (1) The pay and emoluments in cash and in kind, of each officer or servant shall be in accordance with a schedule of establishment framed by the trustee or trustees, and approved by the Assistant Commissioner in the case of institutions under the jurisdiction of the Assistant Commissioner and by the Deputy Commissioner in the case of other institutions. The trustee or trustees shall not alter the Schedule without the previous permission of the Assistant Commissioner or the Deputy Commissioner, as the case may be:

Provided that this rule shall not apply to maths and specific endowments attached to maths.

(2) Travelling allowance and daily allowance payable for the journeys performed by the officers and servants shall be in accordance with the Tamil Nadu Travelling Allowance Rules for the time being in force. The Executive Officer, and in the absence of any such officer, the trustee or the Chairman of the Board of Trustees, as the case may be, shall be the controlling and countersigning authority in respect of their travelling allowance bills.

(3) Advance of pay shall not be paid to any officer and servant except with the previous permission of the Assistant Commissioner or the Deputy Commissioner, as the case may be.

It is common case that Sub-rule (2) of Rule 14 alone deals with the travelling allowance and that requires that the travelling allowance and daily allowance payable for the journey performed be the officers and servants shall be in accordance with the Tamil Nadu Travelling Allowance Rules for the time being in force. The question for consideration is whether Rule 14 (2) of the Rules applies to the petitioner Mutt or not. Mr. Venkatarama Ayyar, the learned Counsel for the petitioner contends that Rule 14 (2) of the Rules does not apply to the servants of the Mutt because of the peculiar position and status and privileges enjoyed by the Madathipathis and recognised by the Act itself. As against this, the learned Assistant Government Pleader contends that the said rule is in general terms and applies to the Mutts also.

3. For one very good reason, I am of the opinion that the entire Rule 14 of the Rules has no application to Mutts. I have already extracted all the three sub-rules of Rule 14 of the Rules. There is a proviso added to Sub-rule (1) which also has been extracted. According to the proviso 'this rule' shall not apply to maths and specific endowments attached to maths. The sole question for consideration is when the proviso used the expression 'this rule' did it comprehend only Sub-rule (1) or did it comprehend the entire Rule 14 of the Ruler. I am of the opinion that the expression 'this rule' occurring in the proviso to Sub-rule (1) of Rule 14 refers to the entirety of Rule 14 and not to Sub-rule (1) alone. I am reaching this conclusion by virtue of the fact that the Rules make a distinction between a 'rule' and a 'sub-rule' and it refers to sub-rule whenever a sub-rule is indicated and it refers to rule whenever the entirety of the rule is indicated. For instance, Rule 15 of the Rules deals, with the leave that will be admissible to the servants of the religious institutions. Sub-rule (6) of this Rule 15 says, 'leave may be granted, under this rule, to the hereditary and non-hereditary Ulthurai servants on their providing proper substitutes to the satisfaction of the appointing authority.' Thus, it will be seen the reference to 'this rule' occurring in Sub-rule 6 of Rule 15 refers to the Rule 15 as such and not to any particular sub-rule of Rule 15. Similarly, Rule 24 of the Rules deals with investment of security furnished. Sub-rule (1) of this rule states: 'The cash security furnished by an officer or servant shall be invested as early as possible in any one of the approved forms of securities, with the consent of the officer or servant, and the interest earned by such security shall be paid to him.' There is Sub-rule (2) to this Rule 24 and that sub-rule states: 'No interest shall be payable on the security amount till it is invested in the manner indicated in Sub-rule (1).' Therefore, there is the clearest evidence in the rules themselves that the rulemaking authority intended to make a distinction between a rule and a sub-rule and whenever the authority meant to refer to a rule, it used the expression 'rule' and whenever it meant to refer to a sub-rule, it used the expression 'sub-rule.' I am unable to hold that the expressions rule and sub-rule had been indiscriminately used in these rules. Therefore, in this background, 1 am clearly of the opinion that the expression 'this rule' occurring in the proviso to Sub-rule (1) to Rule 14 was intended to take in the entirety of the Rule 14 and not Sub-rule (1) alone. The mere fact that the proviso was placed after the main part of Sub-rule (1) and was not enacted as an independent provision or sub-rule or it was not placed after all the three sub-rules, does not make any difference in this context or alter the position. In view of this conclusion of mine, it follows that the entirety of Rule 14 of the Rules which obviously includes Sub-rule (2) also, has no application to the servants of Mutts and therefore the action of the respondents herein based on Sub-rule (2) of Rule 14 of the Rules cannot be sustained. On this short ground, the writ petition is allowed and the impugned orders are quashed. There will be no order as to costs.


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