KESAVA PANICKER Vs. DAMODARA PANICKER
HIGH COURT OF KERALA
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Govindan Nair, C.J. -
(1.) This is an appeal by the first respondent in O. S. No. 1 of 1968 of the Court of the District Judge, Palghat against the decree in the case in favour of the plaintiffs removing the appellant from the post of the President of Keralasseri High School Society and from that of the Manager and Correspondent thereof and directing him to render accounts of his management of the affairs of the said society and the school for the period commencing from 1st January 1963. The decree also declared that the plaintiffs, four in number who are respondents 1 to 4 in this appeal will be entitled to a scheme settled by the court for the management of the said society and the school on application made in that behalf. Further, the official receiver was directed to take possession of the properties of the said society and the school including the school building, their premises and playgrounds and other appurtenances as the Manager of the said school and manage the school.
(2.) The suit was filed with the sanction of the Advocate-General under Section 92 of the Civil Procedure Code. The contention of the plaintiffs was that the school, the buildings, the land on which the school buildings stood as well as the playgrounds and all appurtenances and equipment and furniture and all the belongings of the school formed a public trust for a public purpose of a charitable nature; in this case for educational purpose. The suit was also based on the contention that the properties of the school which have been managed by a society registered under the Societies Registration Act formed a trust of such a public nature. The appellant had become the Pre-sident of the society by the time the suit was filed and he contended that the Keralasseri High School, its grounds, furniture etc. did not belong to the Keralasseri High School Society and that they were his private properties and further, that the property on which the school building stood was obtained by him under a registered lease from one Mootha Panicker in 1936 for the purpose of constructing buildings for a Higher Elementary School. Defendants 2, 4, 5 and 6 who were members of the Managing Committee raised almost identical contentions. On the above contentions 9 issues were framed by the trial Court and issues 1 and 7 related to the competency of the plaintiffs to file the suit and to the question whether the suit was maintainable. The factual question as to whom the Keralasseri High School, its premises etc. belonged; whether to the said society, or to the first respondent as contested by him formed the subject-matter of issues 2 and 3. These were the main issues in the case apart from the question as to whether the appellant was liable to account (Issue 5) and whether he was liable to be removed (Issue 6).
(3.) The evidence in the case was examined in detail by the learned Judge and he had no hesitation whatever in coming to the conclusion that the Keralasseri High School was started by the public and it was being managed by the Keralasseri High School Committee. On the question whether the school premises also belonged to the society the District Judge found that the premises were comprised in Ex. B-27 verumpatton chit and will be difficult in the state of evidence to find that the Keralasseri High School Society has got title to the school premises. But the court further found that the Keralasseri High School Society certainly
"had got possession and control of the premises and that will be enough to enable the society to retain possession or to recover possession in the event of it being ousted from possession otherwise than in due course of law".;
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