Decided on December 12,1955

Janardana Mallan Venkiteswara Mallan And Anr. Appellant
The Cochin Dewaswom Board And Ors. Respondents


Varadaraja Iyengar, J. - (1.) THIS is a petition under Article 226 of the Constitution filed by two members of the Gowda Sraswath Brahmin community for quashing a scheme framed by the 1st Respondent, the Cochin Devaswom Board, for management of the Sree Krishnaswami Temple at Cranganore under the provisions of the Travancore Cochin Hindu Religious Institutions Act 15 of 1950 and for other incidental reliefs.
(2.) THE management of the above -said temple is vested in She Gowda Saraswath Brahmin community of the locality. In or about 1.11.4 a committee of management was elected by the members of the community assembled in "a Yogam. Subsequently a scheme of management was framed in the year 1122 by the community itself. While so, dissatis - -faction arose and an application was filed on 23 -1 -1124 before the Chief Secretary to Government of Cochin by certain members of the community for permission to file a suit for removal of the committee of management and for framing a scheme. This application was forwarded to the Cochin Devaswom Board and they were satisfied that the management of the Devaswon by the Yogakars was defective and a scheme should be 'framed by the Board for the proper management of the institution. The then managing committee was removed and a honorary interim trustee of the Dewaswom was appointed by the Board pending settlement of a scheme. Later on the scheme impugned herein was framed by the Board for the temple management. Respondents 2 to 6 were the first elected members of the committee functioning under the scheme. There is a Samooham at Cranganore called the Sringapurathu Kambola Saraswath Brahmin Samooham which claims the right to conduct 'Anandavritham' and other festivals in the temple with the help of funds collected by them. During the time the temple was administered by the interim trustee appointed by the Board, the Samooham, it, would appear, had been allowed a free hand to conduct the festivals on their own. But the first set" of trustees elected under the scheme framed by the Board, wanted to have their own superior position " approach by the President of the Samooham did not intervene promptly. The Anandavritham was coming on 30 -9 -1955. So this petition has been filed on 28 -9 -1955 for: (i) quashing the scheme framed by the Cochin Devaswom Board under Section 93 of Act .15 of 1950; (ii) cancellation of the proceedings constituting the Respondents 2 to 6 as a committee of management under the scheme; and (iiii) the issue of appropriate directions restraining the Respondents from interfering with the Samooham in the conduct of the ceremonies to be conducted by them in the temple.
(3.) THIS petition is resisted by tire Devaswom Board as well as the members of the committee. Their main contentions are that the scheme had been framed under proper authority and was perfectly valid and could not be impugned in these a proceedings. The Petitioners had themselves taken active part in the matter of the framing of the if scheme and were accordingly estopped from questioning the scheme. The right of management of the temple and therefore the conduct of the care monies in the temple was. necessarily with the members of the committee elected under the same. In any event the Samooham had no locus stand in the matter and the petition filed apparently on behalf. of the Samooham by its Secretary and Treasurer, was unsustainable and liable to be dismissed in limine.;

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