Decided on November 20,1952



Ramaswami, J. - (1.) This is an appeal preferred against the decree and judgment of the learned Subordinate Judge of Eluru in O. S. No. 11 of 1945.
(2.) The facts are: In Iragavaran village there is a temple known as Sri Kesavaswami. The plaintiff is the manager appointed by the Hindu Religious Endowments Board for this temple under a scheme prepared by the said Board. Defendants 1 to 6 are the Archakas of the said Kesavaswami temple and defendants 7 to 11 are stated to be the tenants of the lands of the temple under defendants 1 to 6. The temple of Sri Kesavaswami being a public temple, the Hindu Religious Endowments Board sought to levy contribution from defendants 1 and 4 to 6. Thereupon these Archakas filed O. S. No. 329 of 1936 on the file of the District Munsif's Court, Tanuku, questioning the right of the Board to levy contribution on the foot that the lands on the income of which contribution was fixed belonged to them the Archakas, exclusively and did not belong to the deity. The claim put for-ward by the Archakas was negatived and their suit O. S. 329 of 1936 was dismissed. The plaintiff as authorised by the Hindu Religious Endowments Board to file a suit and get possession of the properties, filed this suit O. S. 11 of 1945 in the pauper form for the reliefs of possession of the schedule- mentioned lands from the defendants and for recovery of Rs. 5756 from the defendants as and for mesne profits for 1942 and 1943 and for recovery of future mesne profits at a rate to be fixed by the Court and for costs. The main contentions raised by defendants 1 to 6 were: The scheme framed for the administration of the suit temple is 'ultra vires' and is not binding on these defendants. The properties mentioned in schedule A are not properties endowed to the temple of Sri Kesavaswami. As a matter of fact they are only Archa-katwam service inams granted to the ancestors of these defendants and the only liability imposed on the Archakas is to perform the service regularly in the temple and no more. The Archakas have been regularly performing the service and are therefore not liable to be evicted from the properties. The temple of Kesavaswami is an excepted temple and the Board has no power to appoint any trustee or manager therefor. Plaintiff is not entitled to maintain this suit. Even otherwise these defendants have perfected a title to the properties by reason of adverse possession. . It was not necessary to decide the question of title to these properties O. S. 329 of 1936 on the file of the District Munsif's Court, Tanuku, and any finding re-corded therein on the question of title would not therefore be 'res judicata'. In any event these defendants are entitled to the kudiwaram right and the temple is entitled only to the melwaram. For this reason also, these defendants are not liable to be evicted from the properties. The mesne profits claimed are excessive. Plaintiff is not entitled to either possession or mesne profits or any other relief. Defendants 7 to 10 filed a memo adopting the written statement of defendants 1 to 6 and defendant 11 allowed the suit to proceed 'ex parte'. Though all the Archakas that is to say defendants 1 to 6 contested the suit at the beginning and claimed the suit properties as belonging to them in the subsequent stages of the trial defendants 1 to 5 dropped out at the time of the hearing and allowed themselves to be set 'ex parte'. It was only defendant 6 who contested the suit.
(3.) We have just mentioned that this suit was filed in the pauper form. The learned Subordinate Judge was moved in C. M. P. No. 768 of 1945 to dispauper the plaintiff. The applicants were the archakas defendants 1 to 6. The learned Subordinate Judge of Eluru passed the following order: "This is a petition to dispauper the plaintiff. Admittedly he gave an undertaking to the Hindu Religious Endowments Board, Madras, to advance funds for litigation from his own pocket and this was the very reason for his appointment. By another order of the Board he was directed to collect funds from people interested in the administration of the temples. The plaintiff admitted that he did not care to collect funds. According to the plain-tiff's undertaking he is bound to advance funds for the litigation from out of his pocket. It is not his case that he is a pauper. I therefore dispauper the plaintiff and call on him to pay court- fee in two weeks failing which the suit will stand dismissed." Then time was extended for payment of court-fee and on the court-fee not being paid the suit was dismissed.;

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