Decided on November 18,1969



- (1.)The Plantiffs in O. S. No. 116/62 the file of the Court of the First Assistant Judge, City Civil Court, Secunderabad, who were unsuccessful in both the Courts below, are the appellants in Second Appeals, The dispute relates to a temple known as "Sri Mallikarjunaswmi Temple in Mallikarjuna Street in Bholapur in Secunderabad" and to the pathway leading to the said temple, The plaintiffs tiled the suit in a representative capacity for and on behalf of the General Body of 'Worshippers of the Deity claiming three reliefs, (1) for a declaratiijn that the suit temple together with the premises is a public temple, (2) for a mandatory injunction for removal of the obstruction to the pathway marked red in the plaint-plan and (3) for a permanent injunction restraining the defendants and all persons claiming through them, from interfering with the suit temple and its premises.
(2.)The facts which are either admitted or proved and which have led to the present dispute, are as follows :- The first defendant M/s. Praga Tools Corporation Limitad (herein after referrtd to as the Corporation), under a sale deed dated 6-11-1964 purchased from one B Ranga Reddy (D. W. 5) land of the extent of 58,080 square yards for establishing a factory! In one corner of the land so purchased, the suit temple was situated. The Corporation proposed to expand the factory. The existence of the temple and the pathway leading to it were found to be an obstruction and as the factory premises surrounded the temple the worshippers had difficulty in reaching the temple and rendering the worship, and performing festivals and other ceremoniesi The Corporation then addressed a letter Ex. A. 36 on 26-5-1958 to the Director of the Endowment Dept. of the Government of Andbra Pradesh. A report was called for from the Inspector of Endowments, and the Director addressed a letter to the Government for sanction of the Government to shift the temple to an alternative site and to construct a new temple and Mulgies and to close the pathway leading to the old temple. The Government by its order Ex. B. 22, G.O.Ms. No. 1035, dated 2-5-59 accepted the proposal. Thereafter a Notification was made under Ex. B. 8 dated 10-3-1950 calling for tenders for construction of the new temple. At this stage, a lawyer's notice was received by the Corporation purporting to be on behalf of the Management of the suit temple, objecting to the shifting of the templei Thereupon the matter was referred to the Director of Endowments and he issued a notice Ex. A. 16 dated 14-4-1960 to the members of the Managing Committee of the temple including Parasey Mallaiah, who was examined as P. W. 16 in the case and B. Ranga Reddy, examined as D. W. 5 in the case. Subsequently similar notices were also given to the said members of the Committee under Exs, A. 17 and A. 18 requesting them to attend the office of the Director. The Director thereafter inspected the site and the members of the Committee who belonged to the Kurma community, were requested to settle the matter, and the members agreed to convene a general body meeting of the members on 17-7-1060. A meeting was duly held on 17-7-60 at which 19 members including P. W. 16 attended and took a decision that the proposal for construction of the temple with Gopuram and Vigraham at another site was accepted. They also passed another decision to the following effect :-
"As contemplated by the Government, all have unanimously agreed for the shifting of the Siva Temple. But the existing temple and the place will be handed over to the Praga Tools Copoiation only after the construction of the temple according to the wishes of the community in the area and the place and after completing the ceremonies to the temple including installation", (2) Signed by all of them in token of their acceptance. (3) Decided to form a new Managing Committee."

(3.)This resolution was signed by 21 members of the community, A new Managing Committee consisting of 7 members was elected on the same date. These proceedings are evidenced by Ex. B; 7 in the case. In accordance w'tb the decision reached by the community a tripartite agreement was entered into between the Government, Director of Endowments, Officers of the Corporation and the members of the Kurma Community, and the terms are embodied in Ex.B.25 dated 19-7-60. The foundation stone was laid for the construction of the new temple on 20-9-1960 and this news was published in the Deccan Chronicle dated 3-10-1960 (Ex B. 46).

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