SURYA NARAIN BHAGWAN Vs. STATE
HIGH COURT OF PATNA
SRI SURYA NARAIN BHAGWAN
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Ramaswami, J. -
(1.) In this case a rule has been issued calling upon the State of Bihar to show cause why a writ in the nature of mandamus should not be granted restraining it from taking possession of certain properties notified under Section 3, Bihar Land Reforms Act.
(2.) The petition is presented on bahalf of the deity Sri Surya Narain Bhagwan through the shebait Srimati Rani Brijraj Kumari. It is stated in the affidavit that the ancestors of Raja of Deo had installed the family deity Sri Surya Narain Bhagwan in an ancient temple and had devoted a great part of the income of the estate for the maintenance of the temple and the worship of the deity. On 27-2-1950, Mahal Deo Baghoura consisting of (1) 5 annas share in village Sandhail, (2) 1 anna 5 gandas share in Deo Khas, and (3) entire share of Srimati Rani Brijraj Kumari in 45 villages was sold in execution in a certificate case. The properties were purchased by Goswami Rajeshwar Gir, chela of Mahanth Krishna Deyal Gir of both Gaya. The sale was confirmed on 19-9-1950, and sale certificate was granted to Rajeshwar Gir by the Certificate Officer of Gaya. It is said that on 23-3-1950 Rajeshwar Gir transferred his interest to the deity Sri Surya Narain Bhagwan. On 25-9-1951, the properties were recorded in the name of the petitioner in the land registration records. It is alleged on behalf of the petitioner that on 6-11-1951, the State Government published a notification under Section 3, Land Reforms Act declaring that the properties have become vested in the State of Bihar but the notification did not describe the deity as proprietor but it mentioned the name of Rani Brijraj Kumari as proprietor in the appropriate column. Rani Brijraj Kumari who has presented this petition as shebait of the deity alleges that the notification is defective since it omitted to specify the deity as proprietor of the properties. It was argued on petitioner's behalf that the notification did not confer any title and the respondent has no jurisdiction to take possession of the properties or to interfere with the management of the petitioner.
(3.) In showing cause against the rule the learned Government Pleader contended in the first place that the notification was currently issued, that the purchase of the property in the certificate sale was benami, that the sale deed executed by Goswami Rajeshwar Gir in favour of the deity was a paper transaction and that the real proprietor of the estate was Rani Brijraj Kumari and that the deity Sri Surya Narain Bhagwan had no title. A counter-affidavit has been filed on behalf of the State asserting that the deed of trust dated 12-12-1949, was not a genuine transaction and that the alleged sale in the certificate case and subsequent transfer dated 23-3-1950 were a mere contrivance to put the properties benami in the name of the deity. In para. 4 of the counter-affidavit it is alleged that the purchase-money for the said sale was paid by Rani Brijraj Kumari and that no consideration was paid for the alleged transfer made by Goswami Rajeshwar Gir in favour of the deity.;
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