BHIMASENA MAHAPATRA Vs. RAMESH CHANDRA MOHAPATRA
HIGH COURT OF ORISSA
RAMESH CHANDRA MOHAPATRA
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(1.) This second appeal has been preferred by defendants 3 and 4 against a preliminary decree for accounts.
(2.) The plaintiffs 1 to 3, who are brothers, brought the suit for accounts of the properties of their family deity Shri Radhakrishna (defendant No. 4). It was alleged that late Somanath Paramguru was the paternal great grand-father of the plaintiff and that he had executed a will on 22-10-1927 whereby, among other dispositions, he had dedicated the suit lands, about 15 acres in extent, in favour of the aforesaid family deity. Somanath died in 1927 leaving behind him his two widows, viz., Janaki and Subarni, brother's widow Champa and pre-deceased son's widow Jamuna. In the Will he gave authority to each one of them, excepting Subarni, to take a son in adoption and in pursuance thereof Champa adopted Bhimasen (defendant no. 3) and Jamuna adopted Debaraj. After the death of Debaraj, Jamuna adopted Satyanarayan, the father of the plaintiff's, Satyanarayan died in 1953. Under the Will Janaki was appointed as the executrix and she was conferred with power of management over the lands bequeathed in favour of the family deity. One Hari Panda was appointed as the Archak of the deity with the condition that if he neglected to perform his duties he would be liable to be removed and substituted by another appointee. Defendant No. 1 Krishna Panda is the son of the said Hari Panda. Janaki did not put Hart Panda in possession of the lands at any time and the lands continued to remain in her khas possession. In 1929 Janaki by a general power-of-attorney (Ext. C) entrusted defendant No. 2 Ananta Misra, the son-in-law of Somanath Paramguru and the natural father of defendant No. 3 with the management of the entire family properties. During the settlement operation in 1948 she made an application (Ext. D) to the settlement authorities stating therein that defendant No. 3 had been entrusted with the management of the deity's properties and requesting that the record-of-rights might be prepared accordingly. In pursuance of this, record-of-rights was prepared describing defendant No. 3 as the Marfatdar of the deity (vide Ext. A). The plaintiffs' contention was that defendant No. 2 was managing the properties of the deity from 1927 to 1944 and defendant No. 3 has been managing the same since 1944. It was further contended that Lokanath Acharya, the general power-of-attorney holder of the plaintiffs, demanded accounts from defendants 2 and 3, but they never cared to show the accounts. The plaintiffs prayed for directing defendant No. 2 to render accounts for the period from 1927 to 1944 and defendant No. 8 from 1944 onwards.
(3.) Defendants 2 and 3 filed a joint written statement contending that the plaintiff's father Satyanarayan was not the adopted son of Jamuna; that defendant No. 2 by virtue of the power of attorney was managing the other family properties only and not the deity's properties and therefore he was not liable to render accounts; that the plaintiffs have no right to demand accounts from defendant No. 3 because the sole trusteeship had been transferred to him by Janaki; that the suit for accounts for more than three years was barred by limitation and that the suit was barred by res judicata and was hit by O. 2, R. 2, C. P. C.;
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