Difference between revisions of "C.R. JAYARAMAN & ORS. v. M. PALANIAPPAN & ORS."

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Latest revision as of 22:52, 2 August 2020

The relevant facts leading to the filing of this appeal as emerging from the case made out by the appellants are narrated in a nutshell for a better understanding and determination of the disputes between the parties:


It is the case of the appellant-plaintiffs before the trial court that their ancestors Elly Iyer, constructed and built 3 temples, namely Pillaiyar Temple, Anjeneyaswami Temple and Gopalakridhna Temole out of his own funds sometime before the 1890.

The aforesaid temples were throughout treated as private temples of 6he appellabts and were virtually in their management. The members of the public never had any right to offer worship in the temoles and the deities were never dedicated to the public.


On 18th February 1965 the mother of the first appellant had received a letter from 3 persons alleging that they had been appointed as non hereditary trustees of the aforementioned temples by the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Board directing the mother if the first appellant to hand down the property and records of the temples.

In the same year, the mother of the first appellant filed a writ petition before the high Court at madras praying for quashing the order of appointment of non hereditary trustees of the said temples.


In 15th February 1967 the high Court allowed the writ petition directing the mother of the first appellant to file an appropriate application before the deputy commissioner of the board for the declaration of the aforesaid temples as the private temples of the family of the appellant.

Thereafter the mother if the appellant filed an application before the deputy commissioner if the board under Section 63 A if the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act. The said application was dismissed on 1st October 1973 and on appeal the commissioner of the board confirmed the saud order on 19th December 1973.

Thereafter the appellant filed a suit for setting aside the order if the commissioner before the principle subordinate judge, Erode, Tamil Nadu. The trial Court held the aforesaid temples as public temples.


Aggrieved by the judgment and order of the trial court, the appellants preferred first appeal before the Madras High Court being AS No. 665 of 1982 on 13-8-1982 which was dismissed by the High Court on 21-6-1996. Thereafter, the appellants preferred a letters patent appeal being LPA No. 196 of 1996 before the Division Bench of the High Court which dismissed the same. Thus, being aggrieved, the appellants preferred the present appeal, which on grant of leave was heard in the presence of the learned counsel for the parties.


6. We have heard the arguments of the learned counsel appearing on behalf of the parties and perused the materials on record. Having done so, we do not find any reason to interfere with the judgment of the High Court which was based practically on the question of fact arrived at not only by the High Court but also by the trial court. Reasons are as follows.


7. Learned counsel appearing on behalf of the appellants contended that the Board was not empowered under the Madras Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, 1959 to declare a private temple as a public temple. We are not in agreement with this argument of the learned counsel for the appellants. A perusal of the relevant provisions of the Act would clearly show that there is no bar for the Board to declare a particular temple as a public one. However, the suit that was filed by the appellants which gave rise to filing of this appeal in this Court was for a declaration that the aforesaid temples were private in nature and not public temples. Therefore, it was for the appellant-plaintiffs to prove on evidence that such temples were private in nature.


From a plain reading of the order of the Board, which is already on record, we are of the view that the Board had categorically held on materials sufficient to prove that the aforesaid temples were in fact public temples and not private temples as alleged by the appellants.