Decided on November 22,1966



N.M.MIABHOY, N.K.VAKIL - (1.) These three Special Civil Applications relate to agricultural lands belonging to a religious trust claimed to be a public religious trust under the Bombay Public Trust Act 1950 Most of the facts in these three petitions are common. As the points of law that may arise were also accepted to be common they were fixed to be heard together. At the hearing however we found that the main points of law arising in the Civil Application No. 475 of 1961 the first of the three would not arise in the latter two and some of the facts also differ. But all the same it will be convenient to deal with them together and dispose them of by one common judgment. We shall however set out the special facts and features of the latter two as and when necessary for coming to the conclusion in respect thereof. We had also allowed the learned advocates appearing for the respondents in the latter two petitions to intervene and argue the law points.
(2.) The petitioner in all the three Writ Petitions claims to be the present Sajjadanashin of Hazarat Pir Shahe Alam Roza Estate being a direct descendent in the 19th degree from Hazarat Pir Mahmad Shane Alam. We may mention that this claim of the petitioner is disputed by the respondents in this as well as other proceedings between the parties. We are however not called upon in these petitions to decide this point and the decision in these petitions will be reached without prejudice to the rights of the respondents to challenge the said claim. The petitioner further claims that the said ancestor of the Petitioner was accepted as a saint and had a large following of disciples and was greatly respected. Petitioners case is that after his death a Roza or mousoleum was constructed on his grave and a mosque was built adjacent to the Roza for public religious worship in about the year 1475 A.D. The disciples used to collect in large numbers on the death anniversary (Uras) of the saint. In the year 1670 Emperor Aurengazeb made an absolute grant of six villages including the villages of Isanpur Vasna and Sarasa to the Rozs of Shahe Alam to meet the expenses of the mosque and for the maintenance of the descendants. A Sanad was also given by Emperor Aurengazeb in respect of this grant. The office of Sajjadanashin is governed by the rule of primogeniture. After the Mogal rule the Marathas ruled this part of the country for a few years and during their regime also the grant was recognised and Sanads were granted. These Sanads however are lost. Annexture 1/A to the Petition is claimed to be the Sanad given by Emperor Aurengzeb. During the British rule also the grants of these villages were recognised and Sanads were issued. Annexture A purports to be the Sanad in respect of the village Isanpur. Entries as regards these grants are also made in the alienation register as Devasthan Inam Class III. These entries were made on the 24th of November 1863. Certified copies from the Alienation Register have also been produced in the three petitions. Out of the six villages management of village Buzarg Vasna in the District of Kaira Taluka Matar was taken over by Government for the maintenance and repairs of the Roza and the mosque and two other villages were lost to this religious trust during the centuries. Now therefore the above stated three villages only remain with the trust.
(3.) On the night of 9th March 1948 Sajjadanashin Imam Haidar Bux father of the petitioner died. The present petitioner succeeded him as Sajjadanashin when he was aged 12. During his minority the Collector was appointed as the guardian under the Guardian and Wards Act. However in 1953 the management of the trust properties was taken over by the Court of Wards. The petitioner attained majority in 1957 and on the 11th of May 1958 the management was handed over to him by the Count of Wards.;

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