Decided on November 19,1973

Bhikka Gouda And Ors. Appellant
Prahlad Swaro And Ors. Respondents


S.K. Ray, J. - (1.) THIS is a Plaintiff 's second appeal from toe reversing decision of the lower appellate Court. The Plaintiffs 1 to 5, who are some of villagers of village Paloghadi , representing, the Deity Raghunath Mahaprabhu Plaintiff No. 6, have filed the suit for a declaration that they have unfettered right of management of the affairs of the temple and also of the presiding Deity (Plaintiff No. 6). They have prayed for recovery of Schedule 'A ' lands which are in possession of Defendants 1 to 3 are Archaks of the Deity. The suit was filed by the Plaintiffs in a representative capacity under Order 1, Rule 8 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
(2.) THE main defence case, inter alia, is that the Defendants are sevak trustees of this religious institution and are in possession of the lands in that capacity. The other defences adopted by the Defendants are not necessary to be stated in view d my conclusion that the jurisdiction of the Civil Court is ousted as indicated hereinafter. Ten issues were framed of which issues 7 and 8 are respectively as follows: 7. Whether the suit is maintainable? 8. Whether the Court has jurisdiction to try the suit?
(3.) THESE two issues hinge upon the question whether the institution is a public one or a private institution. That very question was raised before the trial Court and ' parties led evidence on that point. The trial Court held that the Deity is a private Deity of the Gouda family of a mauza Paloghadi, but the entire body of villagers are the hereditary trustees of the institution. On appeal, the lower appellate Court has held that the Deity is a public deity and, as such, it further held, the Civil Court had no jurisdiction to try the suit and grant the reliefs claimed.;

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