R.N. SELVAM MUDALIAR AND ORS. Vs. P.A. RAJU MUDALIAR AND ANR.
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
R.N. Selvam Mudaliar And Ors.
P.A. Raju Mudaliar And Anr.
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Rajamannar, C.J. -
(1.) THE respondents instituted a suit on the Original Side of this Court, C. S. No. 10 of 1949 under Section 92, C. P. C. praying inter alia for the framing of a scheme for the management and working of the Church known as St. Peters Church at Royapuram after cancelling or modifying the scheme framed in an earlier suit on the file of this court and for the removal of certain defendants from the trusteeship of the Church. Defendants 1 to 5 were described as the persons who claimed to be the trustees of the Church. On the plaint there was an endorsement by the Advocate General as follows: "I consent to the institution of the suit under Section 92, C. P. C." It was discovered subsequently that another person, one S. A. Raja also claimed to be a trustee of the Church and the respondents applied to the court to add S. A. Raja as a party. Before they took out this application, they obtained the consent of the Advocate General to the addition of Raja as a party defendant. Objection was taken to the application on the ground that it was not competent to the Advocate General to add parties once a suit had been instituted after sanction had been obtained from him and once he had given his sanction, his powers were at an end. The learned Judge in Chambers allowed the application as in his opinion the nature of the suit had not been substantially changed in any manner by the addition of S. A. Raja as a party defendant and the amendment was therefore of a formal character. In his opinion even the sanction of the Advocate General was not necessary for the addition of S. A. Raja as a party defendant. Against this order, some of the defendants have filed the above appeal.
(2.) AT the outset, we must hold that the appeal is not maintainable. The order of the learned Judge cannot, in our opinion, be held to be a judgment within the meaning of Clause 15, Letters Patent. In - - 'Ramaswami Chettiar v. Kanniappa Mudaliar', : AIR 1930 Mad 987 (A), it was held by Curgenven and Bhashyam Aiyangar JJ. that an order adding a party to a suit is not a judgment within the meaning of Clause 15 and therefore no appeal lay against such an order. At page 987, after referring to the test adumbrated in the Full Bench decision in - - 'Tuljaram Rao v. Alagappa Chetti',, 35 Mad 1 (B), namely to see whether the order sought to be appealed puts an end to the suit or proceeding to any extent, Curgenven J. observed as follows :
"Judged by this test, I feel no difficulty in deciding that an order adding a party to a suit is not a judgment. It does not put an end to the suit, but is clearly a step towards a final adjudication. It settles no rights other than the right to be heard in the cause."
Following this ruling, we must hold that the appeal is not maintainable.
We further think that there is no substance on the merits. The Advocate General gave his sanction to the suit which was a suit for two main reliefs, viz., framing of a scheme for the affairs of the Church and for the removal of persons who claimed to be the trustees of the Church. It may be that when sanction was obtained the plaintiffs were not aware that the seventh defendant was also a trustee. But it is clear that there was no distinction made between one trustee and another and it is not as if each individual trustee was sought to be removed on account of acts relating to each of them individually. In these circumstances the sanction must be deemed to be a sanction generally for the institution of the suit for the removal of persons purporting to act as the trustees of the Church. The amendment sought for by way of addition of a party was merely formal and did not alter the nature of the suit. We agree with the learned Judge in his view that further sanction of the Advocate General was not necessary in this case and it is therefore unnecessary to discuss the question whether in a case where the amendment was substantial in character the sanction accorded by the Advocate General subsequent to the original institution of the suit would be sufficient to save it from the bar of Section 92, C.P.C. The appeal must therefore be dismissed with costs.;
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