M RAMA RAO Vs. VENUGOPALASWAMY DEITY A TEMPLE OF TOREDDU
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
VENUGOPALASWAMY DEITY, A TEMPLE OF TOREDDU BY ITS TRUSTEE
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Venkatesam, J. -
(1.) These four appeals arise out of the Judgment and Decree of the Subordinate Judge, Rajahmundry, in O.S. No. 74 of 1955 on his file. A. S. No. 129 of 1957 is by the fourth defendant, A.S. No. 137 of 1957 is by the seventh defendant, A.S. No. 523 of 1959 is by the 8th defendant, and A.S. No. 349 of 1960 is by defendants 1, 2, 3 and 9.
(2.) The short facts are these. The plaintiff, the deity of Sri Venugopalaswamy Varu, at Toreddu in Rajahmundry taluk, was endowed with properties described in Schedule ' A ' attached to the plaint. Defendants 1 to 3 and their predecessors have been the hereditary archakas of the temple. The 5th and 6th defendants were formerly appointed as trustees of the said temple by the Religious Endowment Board, but they ceased to be the trustees from 21st April, 1954, and one Manyam Venkatakrishna Paparao has been appointed as the trustee instead by the Commissioner, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Board, by his order dated 25th April, 1954. Defendants 5 and 6 had not handed over charge of the record's, or cash or the moveable property of the temple. During their tenure as trustees of the temple, defendants 5 and 6 allowed the ' A ' schedule properties to be cultivated by defendants 4, 5, 7 and 8, but none of them have paid any rents or profits to the temple, which is consequently in disrepair. As the previous trustees, in breach of the obligations, allowed defendants 4, 7 and 8 to benefit themselves at the expense of the deity, they were all liable not only to deliver the lands, but also to pay mesne profits arising from the lands during the years 1951, 1952 and 1953. The suit was, therefore, laid for recovery of possession of the ' A' schedule properties, and a sum of Rs. 20,325 being the profits.
(3.) The suit was resisted by all the defendants. The first defendant contended inter alia, that the archakatvam of the temple had been descending hereditarily in his family and that it devolved on him and his brother, late Appalacharyulu, father of defendants 2 and 3, and the husband of the gth defendant. Being the hereditary archakas, they were performing the services and enjoying the lands, and the two brothers divided the endowed lands into two equal moieties. So long as the worship was being regularly performed, defendants 1 to 3 and 9 could not be dispossessed of the suit lands. He denied that defendants 5 and 6, during their trusteeship allowed defendants 4 and 5 to cultivate the suit lands. He also averred that till the last Telugu New Year's Day (April, 1955), the 4th defendant was his tenant in possession of half the share of the suit lands, that the lease in his favour having expired, he (D-4) vacated the lands leased to him, and that thereafter the lands were leased to Chittoori Ganeshwara Rao and Nadella Thatabbayi.;
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