SRI EDUPUGANTI RAGHAVENDRA RAO MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL COMMITTEE GUDLAVALLERU Vs. POTLURI ATCHAYYA
HIGH COURT OF ANDHRA PRADESH
SRI EDUPUGANTI RAGHAVENDRA RAO MEMORIAL HIGH SCHOOL COMMITTEE, GUDLAVALLERU
Referred Judgements :-
GOPAL LAL SETT V. PURNACHANDRA BASIK
SINGARA MUDALIAR V. GOVINDASAMI CHETTY
BADRI DAS V.CHUNNI LAL
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(1.)This Civil Revision Petition arises out of an application under
Order 6, rule 17, Civil Procedure Gode'for amendment of the plaint in O.S. No. 176/54
on the file of the District Munsif, Gudivada. The suit was instituted in
a representative capacity against the defendants, members of Sri
Edupuganti Raghavendrarao Memorial Committee, Gudlavalleru for a declaration that the committee has ceased to exist by reason of not holding meetings as required by the rules governing the
administration of the institution and for an injunction restraining defendants 2 to 10
from functioning as members of the Gommitcee and for others reliefs. The suit
institution a High School was started in or about the year 1945 with donations and
subscriptions from the public. The founders of the school framed the bye-laws and
Articles of Association and had them registered with the Registrar of Joint Stock
Companies. It is alleged in the plaint inter alia that under rule 8 of the regulations
for the governance of this institution any member of the committee who failed to
attend consecutively three meetings would cease to be a member thereof and that
since no meetings were held for six months the members of the committee have
ipso-facto become defunct and they had no power to hold a meeting subsequent to that
date. Pending the suit, the plaintiffs sought to amend the plaint by adding a prayer:
"If in the circumstances of the case this Hon'ble Court deems it necessary to frame a scheme constituting a Committee of management and empowering one member of such committee to act as the President and another member to act as Secretary from out of General Body of Donors and
subscribers and to vest the management and the properties of the school in the said committee
embodying such necessary directions in the scheme with a view to carry on and facilitate the management of the school and its property."
(2.)This petition was opposed on various grounds, the one relevant for the purpose of
this enquiry being that section 92, Civil Procedure Code was a bar to it. The trial
Court allowed the amendment notwithstanding this opposition of the defendants.
Tn this revision petition, the propriety of the order is canvassed. The contention
pressed upon me by the counsel for the petitioners is that the. trial Gourt could
not allow the amendment as it would fundamentally change the character of the
suit and would oust its jurisdiction. The answer of Mr. Suryanarayana, counsel
for the respondents to this is that the nature of the suit is not in any way altered, the
body of the plaint remaining intact and there being only an addition to the relief
and that section 92, Civil Procedure Code is inapplicable to this case. According
to him, the amendment would not bring the suit within the. ambit of section 92 for the
reason that a High School cannot be regarded as a charitable institution and that
in any event it is a private trust. It is difficult to agree with these propositions. An
institution started for imparting education surely comes within the scope of section
92, for the purpose for which it was started is of a charitable nature.
I am convinced that a school of this description certainly attracts the provisions of section
92, Civil Procedure Code.
(3.)The next submission of Mr. Suryanarayana, namely that it is a private trust and
therefore civil Courts have jurisdiction to entertain suits for establishing claims for
private trust is equally untenable. He placed before me a number of rulings of the
Calcutta High Court and the Judgment of the Judicial Committee of the Privy
Council in Gopal Lal Sell v. Puma Chandra Basik, (1921) L.R. 49 I.A. 100 : I.L.R.49 Cal. 459 : 43 M.L.J. 116 (P.C.)
which laid down that it was competent for a Civil Gourt to settle
claims for the administration of private trusts.
The principle underlying these pronouncements would apply only if the present
one is regarded as a private trust. Therefore, it is not necessary forme to examine
these decisions at length, since the point for determination is whether this is a private
or a public trust.
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