PATURI VENKATA NARAYANA Vs. SUNKARA LAKSHMAIYA
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
PATURI VENKATA NARAYANA
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Satyanarayana Rao, J. -
(1.) The plaintiffs who were successful in the trial Court but lost the suit in the appellate Court are the appellants in the second appeal.
(2.) The suit was for an injunction restraining the defendants from, starting proceedings to dismiss from service the plaintiffs on the ground that they are not reciting 'swastivacha-kam' daily. The defendants are the trustees of Sri Rajagopalaswamivaru temple at Dhulipudi. The plaintiffs appellants hold an inam of the extent of 1'4 acres and 49 cents in the said village which was admittedly granted by a previous zamindar for reciting 'swastivachakam,' in the temple. On 610- 1943 the trustees issued a notice requiring the plaintiffs to recite 'swastivachakam' daily and in default they threatened to dismiss them. The plaintiffs therefore instituted the present suit on 19-10-1943. Their case in short is that the grant of the inam was to them burdened with service, namely, the recital of 'swastivachakam' in the temple and was not a grant at the temple over which the trustees would have jurisdiction. In other words, they contend that they are not the servants of the temple as contended by the trustees and that therefore the trustees have no power or control over them either under the terms of the grant or under Section 43, Madras Hindu Religious Endowments Act.
(3.) The sanad granted originally by the zamindar could not be produced, but the plaintiffs were able to produce a certified copy of the inam statement and the extract from the inam register as well as a copy of the title deed relating to the inam in support of their contention. Besides these documents, the defendants relied upon tne entry in Ram's register and also certain 'dhumballas' to substantiate their contention that the grant was really by the then trustees of the temple from out of the properties, which were granted to the temple, in other words, that it was a subordinate grant by them to the plaintiffs and that therefore they had the right and also the duty to dismiss the plaintiffs if they did not render the service properly. The learned District Munsif on an examination of the crucial documents In the case arrived at the conclusion that the grant was one burdened with service personally to the plaintiffs and not a grant to the temple. He therefore held that the defendants had no jurisdiction to dismiss the plaintiffs or to treat them as their servants requiring them to perform the service in default of which they would dismiss them from service. There was also another issue between the parties which is also important and that covers the dispute between the parties, namely, whether the plaintiffs were bound to recite 'swastivachakam' in the temple as contended by the defendants, or whether they are bound only to recite the vedas on particular days according to usage obtaining in this temple. On this question the trial court did not express any opinion as in its view that was a question which has to be considered by the revenue authorities if and when the inam came to be resumed for breach of the conditions of the grant. The result was that the learned District Munsif granted a decree in favour of the plaintiffs. On appeal, his decision was reversed by the learned Subordinate Judge and his conclusion was that it was really a subordinate grant by the trustees of the temple to the plaintiffs and the plaintiffs were therefore servants of the temple. The trustees had the power, according to him, to treat the plaintiffs as their servants and to even dismiss them if necessary under Section 43 of the Endowments Act if not under the terms of the grant.;
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