Decided on September 30,1981

RAJ KUMAR Appellant
PREM SINGH Respondents


- (1.)This is an appeal against the order of the learned Divisional Commissioner dated 22 -5 -198 lf accepting the appeal of the respondent Sh. Prem Singh and setting aside the order of the Collector, Kulu, dated 27 -4 -1979. appointing the present appellant as Kardar through his mother of Devta Gehri (Birnath) of Dhalpur, Tehsil and District Kulu.
(2.)The facts leading to the present appeal, in brief, are that Sh. Ram Dass, Kardar of Devta Gehri (Birnath) Tehsil and District Kulu, died on 10 -10 -1977. The Tehsildar Kulu, invited applications from the followers and worshippers of the Devta for the appointment of a new Kardar on 11 -11 -1977. Four applications including those of the present appellant and respondent were received. On 7 -11 -1978, the Tehsildar, Kulu, recorded the statements of the followers and worshippers so as to know their opinion about the candidates. 136 followers/worshippers favored the appointment of Sh. Prem Singh while 98 supported Sh. Raj Kumar, the present appellant. The other two candidates Sh. Manual Chand and Sh. Daya Ram withdrew from the contest. The Collector, Kulu, after giving opportunity of presenting their cases to Shri Prem Singh and Raj Kumar, appointed the present appellant Sh. Raj Kumar through his mother as Kardar of the Devta. Sh. Prem Singh, the present respondent, submitted an appeal before Commissioner against the order of the Collector on the following grounds : (i) That, according to the Wajub -ul -arj, the Kardar :is appointed with the majority votes of the worshippers of the deity and that hereditary claim is also taken into consideration. The appellant (Prem Singh) had obtained more votes and that he had preferential hereditary claim also as the office of the Kardar had been held by the appellants grandfather and father ; and (ii) That a minor cannot be appointed as the Kardar. The position of the deity is that of a minor and, as such the affairs of the deity could not be entrusted to a person who is cot legally competent to perform the same.
(3.)The learned Commissioner held that the respondent (Raj Kumar) being a minor would not be able to manage the affairs of the deity. He also took into account the fact that previously the office of the Kardar had been held by the family of the appellant (Sh. Prem Singh). On these grounds, the learned Commissioner accepted the appeal and appointed Sh. Prem Singh, respondent before me, as Kardar of the Devta.

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