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Sri Gopaldas Dwarakadas Family Trust Estate by Its Managing Trustee, Srirangam Vs. the State of Tamilnadu by the Secretary to Government, Revenue Department and anr. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1976)2MLJ442
AppellantSri Gopaldas Dwarakadas Family Trust Estate by Its Managing Trustee, Srirangam
RespondentThe State of Tamilnadu by the Secretary to Government, Revenue Department and anr.
Excerpt:
- .....person. in that case, service will be by delivering or tendering the notice or order to the person concerned or his counsel or authorised agent, or by delivering or tendering the notice or order to some adult member of the family; or by sending the notice or order to the person concerned by registered post acknowledgment due; or if none of those modes of service is practicable, then service by affixture is permitted 'authorised agent' is also defined in the rules as a person holding a power of attorney authorising him to act on behalf of his principal or an agent empowered by written authority under the hand of his principal. the managing trustee of the appellant trust says that he had not been served in accordance with rule 8. but, the records which were summoned up to this court.....
Judgment:

K. Veeraswami, C.J.

1. The appeal is from an order of Ismail, J., who dismissed in limine the appellant's petition under Article 226 ;of the Constitution of India. Proceedings were initiated under the provisions of the Tamil Nadu Land Reforms (Fixation of Ceiling on Land) Act of 1961 The appellant is a trust, Sri Gopaldas Dwarakadas Family Trust Estate, represented by its managing trustee. This is governed by a scheme of management settled by Court. Section 10 of the Act relates to the preparation and publication of draft statement' as regards land in excess of the ceiling area. Sub-section (5) of the section lays down the procedures as to publication of the draft statement and service thereof on the persons concerned, the tenants, creditors and all other persons, who, in the opinion of the authorised officer, are interested in the land in which such draft statement relates. The service will require certain things to be done with which aspect we are not at the moment concerned. The rule corresponding to service is Rule 8, which prescribes the manner of service of notice or order under the Act or the Rules. Clause (a) prescribes the mode of service on any company, society or association of individuals, whether incorporated or not, and then proceeds to name the officer or person on whom notice will have to be served. The other clause, which is relevant, is Clause (d) dealing with service in the case of an individual person. In that case, service will be by delivering or tendering the notice or order to the person concerned or his counsel or authorised agent, or by delivering or tendering the notice or order to some adult member of the family; or by sending the notice or order to the person concerned by registered post acknowledgment due; or if none of those modes of service is practicable, then service by affixture is permitted 'Authorised agent' is also defined in the rules as a person holding a power of attorney authorising him to act on behalf of his principal or an agent empowered by written authority under the hand of his principal. The managing trustee of the appellant trust says that he had not been served in accordance with Rule 8. But, the records which were summoned up to this Court show that the managing trustee, who now represents the appellant trust, as a matter of fact, appeared before the concerned authority and raised objection of there having been no notice to him. The records also show that notice was served in the office of the trust. Ismail, J., thought that there was no substance in the objection as to no notice, and on that view he dismissed the petition of the appellant in limine, as already mentioned.

2. We are of the same opinion. Mr. Rajappa, counsel for the appellant, strongly urges that since there are more than one trustee, service will have to be done on every one of them, and in this case there was not even service on the managing trustee. He would add that service on the office of the trust would not He sufficient in view of the terms of the provisions of the Act and the rule above cited. Our attention was directed by counsel to certain passages in Lewin on Trust to show that in the case of a trust represented by a number of trustees in whom the property is vested, each of the trustees will have to be served and his objection in each case will have to be considered. But the passages also show that this is not an inflexible rule.

3. Wherever a statute provides for service of notice, it is not as a ritual, but it is intended to draw the attention of the person interested or concerned in the proceeding, so that he could have his say either in writing or in person, as the case may be, in accordance with the statutory or other rule having the force of law. The whole purpose of notice is to inform the person or persons concerned and allow him or invite him to defend himself or themselves if they are so minded. It is, therefore, not a technicality but one of substance and whether notice has been sufficiently served is to be decided in the light of the facts of each case. Where, as in this case, ceiling is the subject and a trust involved, obviously service can be effected on the trust by serving the notice on the managing trustee, who does represent the trust even under the provisions of the scheme, as in him the management is vested or in each of the trustees. We must, however, point out that service on each of the trustees is not essential for constituting a proper or sufficient service. The managing trustee, having appeared and objected that he had no notice, it is obvious that he had notice of the proceeding and the whole purpose of the notice was served by his conduct that way. Instead of saying that he had no notice served on him, which was only a formality, he should have raised his objection in relation to the draft scheme. The objection that is now taken, in view of his conduct, appears to us be frivolous and he has only wasted the funds of the trust by coming to this Court which again shows that be is fully alive to the draft scheme. The petition under Article 226 of the Constitution, in our opinion, was, therefore, rightly dismissed. The appeal fails and is dismissed with costs. Counsel's fee, Rs. 100.


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