Decided on March 25,1992



- (1.)This Appeal is preferred against the order of the learned single Judge dismissing Writ Petition No.6293 of 1991.
(2.)Facts and circumstances, briefly stated, are as follows: Sri Arun Jyothi, Shri Natraj Murthy Ashram Committee, with seven members with the original writ petitioner as President for life was formed. In 1974 the Committee constructed 'Sri Raja Rajeswari Amma Varu' Temple (for short, the temple) at Nellore. In 1981, the Assistant Commissioner, Endowments, directed the Committee to get the said temple registered under Section 38 of the Andhra Pradesh Charitable & Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments Act, 1966 (hereinafter, 'the Act'). This order was challenged by the original writ petitioner in Writ Petition No.2071 of 1981. The said petition was disposed of with a direction to the Writ Petitioner to approach the Deputy Commissioner of Endowments under Section 77 of the Act. In the meanwhile, the Assistant Commissioner of Endowments appointed in July, 1982 the fifth respondent and others as non-hereditary trustees of the temple. Writ Petition No.5098 of 1982 questioning the said appointment, was filed. Pending the same, the Deputy Commissioner of Endowments, by his order of July 1983 dismissedJO.A.No.l29 of 1983 filed by the writ petitioner and held that the temple aforesaid was a public religious institution. This order was challenged by another writ petition, namely. Writ Petition No.7156 of 1983. Both these petitions were disposed of in April 1985 with a direction that the petitioner should approach the Deputy Commissioner of Endowments under Section 77 of the Act. In the meanwhile the writ petitioner filed O.A.No.35 of 1985 for declaration that he was the hereditary trustee and founder of the aforesaid temple. In March, 1986, declaration accordingly was granted.
(3.)In May, 1987, the Andhra Pradesh Charitable and Hindu Religious Institutions and Endowments Act, 1987 (hereafter, the 'the new Act'), came into force. Under Section 16 thereof, the right of a person for the Office of the hereditary trustee, or mutawalli or dharmakarta or mumtazim or by whatever name called, stood abolished on the commencement of the new Act. Questioning the validity of this Section the present writ petitioner filed Writ Petition No.19253 of 1988. We understand that the said petition has since been transferred to the Supreme Court for being heard along with other similar matters. In January, 1989, the fifth respondent filed a revision before the State Government against the declaration in O.A.No.35 of 1985. It was dismissed in August, 1989. The Writ Petitioner thereafter applied to the Deputy Commissioner of Endowments, Guntur, to hand over complete charge and management of the temple. While the said application was pending, the fourth respondent - Assistant Commissioner of Endowments, invited applications for appointment of non-hereditary trustees. It was at that stage that the present writ petition was filed. The learned single Judge dismissed the writ petition holding that the same was filed after an unduly long time and further holding that the writ petitioner's rights stood abolished with the aforesaid new Act coming into force. Hence this appeal.

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