C RATNAVELU MUDALIAR Vs. COMMISSIONER FOR HINDU RELIGIOUS AND CHARITABLE ENDOWMENTS
HIGH COURT OF MADRAS
COMMR. FOR HINDU RELIGIOUS AND CHARITABLE ENDOWMENTS
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Venkatarama Aiyar, J. -
(1.) The point for decision in this appeal is whether an institution known as the Apparswami Pagoda situated in Mylapore is a temple as defined in Section 9(12), Madras Hindu Religious Endowments Act. The appellant is the hereditary trustee of the institution. His contention is that it is only a Samadhi or tomb of one Apparswami and not a temple. The Hindu Religious Endowments Board held an enquiry under Section 84(1) and passed an order on 1-4-1947 that it is a temple as defined in the Act. The appellant applied in O. P. No. 200 of 1947 on the Original Side of this Court to set aside that order. The matter was heard by Krishnaswami Nayudu J. and after an elaborate enquiry, he agreed with the Board that the institution was a temple as denned in the Act and dismissed the petition. This appeal is presented against this judgment.
(2.) The case for the appellant is that there was a person called Apparswami belonging to the Vanibar community, that he was buried in this place, that one Chidambaraswami built about 1852 a tomb for him, that Guru pooja is being regularly performed for him and that it is a samadhi and not a temple.
(3.) It is common ground that it was Chidambaraswami who founded this institution. There is abundant evidence that this institution was regarded by him by the succeeding trustees and By the public as a temple. Exhibit P-7 is a grant made by the Government in favour of Chidambaraswami on 7-8-1860. Therein, Chidambaraswami is described as the founder of the Apparswami pagoda and not of the Apparswami Samadhi. Exhibit P-1 is the will executed by Chidambaraswami on 4-5-1871. He therein describes himself as the sole owner and dharmakartha of the Apparswami pagoda and as residing in an put-house attached to the said pagoda. He appointed two executors and vested in them all furniture belonging to the said pagoda and other properties in trust for the said pagoda. They were directed to perform and celebrate all charities connected with the said Apparswami pagoda including periodical pooja, utsavams, and other celebrations according to Vedanta Sastra or mamool. It may be noted that the Samadhi is not even referred to in this will. Two persons, Ratnavelu Mudaliar and Annamalai Mudaliar were appointed executors under the Will. Probate of this Will was obtained and Ratnavelu Mudaliar entered on his duties as trustee under this will. Annamalai Mudaliar having predeceased him, he continued as the sole trustee, and he was succeeded by his son Doraivelu Mudaliar. The present appellant is the younger brother of Doraivelu Mudaliar and has succeeded to the trusteeship after the lifetime of his brother.;
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