Prinsep and Banerjee, JJ.
1. In this case the plaintiff, as shebait of a certain Hindu endowment, sues to set aside certain leases and alienations created by a person who, he says, has relinquished and abandoned the right of shebait, and consequently he asks to obtain khas possession of the land occupied by the defendants under such title.
2. The defendants put the plaintiff to the proof of his title as shebait, and on failure of such proof the suit has been dismissed,
3. It has been admitted that the plaintiff has held possession as shebait, and managed the properties connected with the endowment for more than ten years, on the nomination of the Hindu residents of the locality. It has not been shown that there is any local custom or authority for such appointment, and we may dismiss the suggestion that the appointment was made by the Collector, for it does not appear that anything further was done than that the appointment made was notified for the information of the Collector. It has been contended before us in second appeal, as it was contended in the lower Courts, that inasmuch as a suit to oust the plaintiff from his office as shebait of this endowment is now barred by limitation, it was not competent to the defendants to call upon the plaintiff to prove the validity of his title.
4. We can find no direct authority for limitation in such a suit as this. The suit is for possession of an office, the appointment to which is made by nomination. The Law of Limitation, Schedule II, Article 124, provides for a suit for possession of an hereditary office, and, if the appointment to the office of shebait in the present case had been by succession through inheritance, a suit for possession of such office would be covered by that article. Any suit to oust such a person as the plaintiff from his office as shebait would not necessarily be a suit for possession of immoveable property, or an interest in immoveable property, because, by the nature of the endowment, the title rests with the idol, and the plaintiff would occupy at most the position of trustee or shebait for the purpose of performing the duties and managing the affairs of the endowment. We have, therefore, after much consideration, come to the conclusion that the suit should be regulated by Article 120, Schedule II of the Limitation Act, that is to say, that a suit to oust the plaintiff from his office would be a suit for which no period of limitation is specially provided. If, therefore, no suit could be brought to oust the plaintiff by reason of his having held the office for a period of ten years, that is, a period exceeding that provided by the law of limitation, he would acquire a complete title for the purposes of any litigation, or anything connected with the affairs of the endowment. We think, therefore, that the suit has not been properly dismissed by the lower Courts, and we accordingly direct it to be tried on the merits, that is to say, whether the leases and alienations which the plaintiff seeks to set aside are void as against the endowment. The case will be remanded to the lower Appellate Court and the costs will abide the result.