N C RAMANATHA IYER PRESIDENT NURANI GRAMA JANA SABHA Vs. BOARD OF COMMRS FOR HINDU RELIGIOUS ENDOWMENTS MADRAS
LAWS(MAD)-1953-4-29
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
Decided on April 22,1953

N.C.RAMANATHA IYER, PRESIDENT, NURANI GRAMA JANA SABHA Appellant
VERSUS
BOARD OF COMMRS. FOR HINDU RELIGIOUS ENDOWMENTS, MADRAS Respondents

JUDGEMENT

Govinda Menon, J. - (1.) The appellant as the President of the Nurani Grama Jana Sabha, Nurani, in Palghat seeks to set aside under Section 84(3) of the Madras Hindu Religious Endowments Act, an order of the District Judge of South Malabar, holding that the three' temples situated in that village are institutions to which the Act applies. The learned District Judge has set out the history of the institutions and his findings regarding certain aspects were not seriously, canvassed before us. Ke expressed the opinion that the temples in question belong to the Nurani Grama Samuham consisting of the Nurani villagers, who manage the affairs of the temple by an elected committee.
(2.) On behalf of the Endowments Board, the respondent in this appeal, this conclusion is not controverted, and it, therefore, becomes unnecessary to trace the history of the institutions and how they are being managed. That the Nurani Grama Samuham consists of a fluctuating body of villagers who are competent to hold and own property is also conceded on the side of the respondent and we need not, therefore, elaborate upon the nature of the endowment. In Simdara Ayy'ar's Malabar Law, at pages 263 and 364, the learned author discusses the question about the nature of temples owned and founded by village communities who have migrated to Malabar from the East Coast and an expression of opinion is found there that it would probably not be easy to hold that these temples are public institutions whatever may be the right view to hold with respect to the temples founded by the other village communities. Reference is made in that connection to --'Yegnarama Dikshitar v. Gopalat Patter', AIR 1918 Mad 733 (A).
(3.) The appellant's learned counsel contended that the temples in question do not coma within the definition of the term in Section 9(12) of the Act for the reason that the ownership is vested in a village community who live an extremely corporate life and that the management is conducted by an executive body duly elected by the villagers as a whole. 8uch a body, according to judicial pronouncements, is capable of owning, holding and disposing of property and when it is found that the temple is the property of a corporate body of that character, it cannot be held that the public as such have any right in the temple. Whatever may be said with regard to allowing members of the public worshipping in these temples without explicit permission from the executive management, it is contended that the villagers have the right and authority to prohibit other than members of the village community from resorting to these temples for worship. Ordinarily no pious Hindu would decline permission for anyone to worship in a temple, and the not frequent instances of members belonging to other villages worshipping in the temple can be accounted by the fact that some kind of implied permission is given to them. It is, therefore, urged that this fact cannot convert the temples into public temples. The second argument, of the learned counsel is that in this case there is ho dedication to the public as such and if there is no dedication, the real kernel of the definition cannot be fitted in so far as these temples are concerned. We have to examine each of these arguments.;


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