w w w . L a w y e r S e r v i c e s . i n


Kalia Pillai (died) & Others v/s Kathayee ammal Dharmam(Charities) & Others

    L.P.A.Nos.107, 108 of 1999 and 34 of 2000
    Decided On, 09 July 2003
    At, High Court of Judicature at Madras
    By, THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE R. JAYASIMHA BABU & THE HONOURABLE MR. JUSTICE N.V.BALASUBRAMANIAN
    For the Petitioner: Mr.G.Rajagopalan, Advocate for M/s.S.Chandrasekaranand P.Rose Kamalam, Mr.S.Parthasarathy, Advocate for M/s.Sarvabhauman Associates. For the Respondents : R1 Mr.S.S.Mathivanan, R5&7 Mrs.Pushpa Sathyanarayanan, Advocate.


Judgment Text
N.V.BALASUBRAMANIAN,J.


These three appeals are the typical examples of the case as to how the properties endowed for charities by charitably inclined persons are misused and resisted by suitors raising indefensible pleas when suit is instituted for recovery of possession of the trust properties. In all the appeals, various defendants in the suit are the appellants. The first respondent in all the appeals is the plaintiff. The plaintiff is represented by the Executive Officer of Sri Arunachaleswarar temple, Tiruvannamalai which is a famous temple in South India. The suit has been instituted by Kathayee Ammal Charities represented by the Executive Officer of Sri Arunachaleswarar temple. The plaintiff has instituted the suit for recovery of possession of the suit properties, to be precise, four items of landed properties and movables which originally belonged to one Kathayee ammal, the lady who executed a will dated 17.1.1925 which is her last will and testament. The lady has a mind of charitable disposition and she has, by her will, endowed item Nos.3 and 4 of the suit properties, which, according to her, should be utilised for the stay and for the feeding of poor Hindus pilgrims, excluding certain persons mentioned in the will, who visit Sri Arunachaleswarar Temple at Tiruvannamalai. She has also stated that not less than ten Hindu Sivanadiars should be fed describing the minimum meals for feeding such Sivanadiars and there should be poor feeding also. The lady has expressly provided that the charity should continue for ever. She has stated that the income from other properties described as item Nos.1 and 2 of suit properties should be utilised for the purpose of feeding poor Hindus and Sivanadiars in the said Math which she has bequeathed towards the charities and she has stated that the charities mentioned in will should be performed even after her lifetime and she nominated her foster son, Sundaram Pillai as a trustee to continue the charity and after his lifetime, his eldest son and in his absence, his eldest daughter should be the trustee of the trust. She has also provided that if the incomes from item Nos.1 and 2 of the suit properties are not sufficient to perform the charities, those properties can be sold only with prior permission of the trustees of Sri Arunachaleswarar temple. She also provided that till other properties are purchased, the income from the sale proceeds should be utilised for the performance of the charity. She has clearly indicated in her will that the charity should be named 'Kathayee Ammal Charities' and in all documents relating to the charity, the name, Kathayee Ammal Charities should be mentioned. In the will she has provided that item Nos.3 and 4 of the suit properties which are item No.1 in the will should not be sold in any event and if other properties are sold, the money should be utilised for the performance of the charity.


2. The case of the plaintiff is that Sundaram Pillai, after the death of testator, acted against her wishes and against the terms and conditions contained in the testament of the testator, Kathayee ammal and he never performed the charities. According to the plaint, Sundaram Pillai alienated suit properties in item Nos.1 and 2 by means of an exchange deed dated 29.12.1957 for a land situate in Polur, a place near to Tiruvannamalai in favour of one Mannar Chettiar for the personal benefits of Sundaram Pillai. It is stated that after the death of Sundaram Pillai, his eldest son first defendant in the suit became the trustee managing the trust properties and the defendants 1 and 2 were squandering the income of the suit properties and ultimately sold suit item No.3 to the fifth defendant without performing the charities mentioned in the deed. The defendants 1 and 2 also sold suit item No.4 in favour of the 8th defendant on 12.11.1980 and during the pendency of the suit itself. Mannar Chettiar, the owner of suit item Nos.1 and 2 sold the properties by sale deeds dated 5.8.1976 and 24.8.1977 to the defendants 3 and 4. According to the plaintiff, the sale deeds are void ab initio as Mannar Chettiar himself has no right in the said properties. It is also stated that the sale deeds executed in respect of suit items 3 and 4 are void and do not bind the plaintiff. It is stated that the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments (Administration) Department (hereinafter referred to as 'HRCE Department') conducted enquiry as regards mismanagement of the charity by Sundaram Pillai and confirmed the acts of mismanagement by Sundaram Pillai. It is stated that the Government of Tamil Nadu extended the provisions of the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, 1959 (hereinafter referred to as 'HRCE Act') to Kathayee ammal Charities by virtue of powers conferred under section 3(3) of the HRCE Act by G.O.Ms.No.4551, Revenue Dated 12.12.1962. The said G.O. extending the provisions of the HRCE Act to the Kathayee Ammal Charities has become final and fit persons have also been appointed and the Commissioner, HRCE Department appointed the Executive Officer, Sri Arunachaleswarar Devasthanam, Tiruvannamalai as the Executive Officer of the Kathayee Ammal Charities in RC.No.81264/78, dated 11.11.1978. The Executive Officer is empowered to sue or to be sued for and on behalf of the plaintiff. Since the defendants 6 and 7 are in possession of suit item Nos.2 and 1 respectively as tenants, they are also impleaded as parties. Hence, the suit has been filed for recovery of vacant possession of the suit properties.


3. The defendants have filed separate written statements and their main case in so far as it relates to the present appeals is that the suit is barred by limitation as the suit properties are not dedicated to religious charities.


4. The trial Court has come to the conclusion, on the basis of evidence, that the charity created by Kathayee ammal by the registered will dated 17.1.1925 is a Hindu religious charity and the trustees, Sundaram Pillai and his son have acted against the wishes of the testator and the terms and conditions contained in the will of Kathayee ammal and the provisions of the HRCE Act were validly extended to the Kathayee ammal Charities and the defendants 1 and 2 and the alienees have not acquired title to the said property by adverse possession and the plaintiff has right to file the suit on behalf of the Kathayee ammal Charities. The trial Court also held that the sale deeds executed in favour of the defendants 3,4, 5 and 8 in respect of suit items 1 to 4 are not binding on the plaintiff and therefore the plaintiff is entitled to the relief of possession of the suit properties.


5. Aggrieved by the judgment and decree of the trial Court, the 5th defendant preferred an appeal in A.S.No.883 of 1985 and the defendants 3 and 4 have preferred an appeal in A.S. No.885 of 1985 and the eighth defendant preferred an appeal in A.S. No.1013 of 1991 and all the three appeals were heard by a learned Judge of this Court and the learned Judge held that the suit properties were dedicated to the Hindu Religious charity and the provisions of the HRCE Act were validly extended to the charity. Learned Judge rejected the plea of adverse possession pleaded by the defendants 3,4, 5 and 8 and held that they have not perfected title to the suit properties by adverse possession. Learned Judge also held that the plaintiff is entitled to recovery of possession of the suit properties. It is against the judgment of the learned Judge delivered in all the three appeals, the present Letters Patent Appeals have been preferred.


6. The submission of Mr.G.Rajagopalan, learned senior counsel appearing for the appellants in L.P.A.Nos.107 and 108 of 1999 is that the suit is barred by limitation. Learned senior counsel submitted that the dispute started after the death of Kathayee Ammal and he referred to the averments made in the plaint and submitted that it is the case of the plaintiff that Sundaram Pillai was acting against the wishes of the testator and terms and conditions contained in the will and Sundaram Pillai was not performing the charities. He therefore submitted that Sundaram Pillai never complied with the terms and conditions of the will of late Kathayee Ammal and Sundaram Pillai has perfected title to the suit properties by adverse possession and when the exchange deed was effected in the year 1957, Sundaram Pillai had already perfected title by adverse possession. He referred to the sale deed dated 10.4.1978 and submitted that the sale deed was executed for the purpose of the charity and hence, the sale deed cannot be questioned. As far as G.O.Ms.No.4551, Revenue dated 12.12.1962 is concerned, learned senior counsel referred to the decision of the Supreme Court in MUNICIPAL CORPN. PUNE v. BHARAT FORGE CO. LTD. (AIR 1996 SC 2856) and submitted that the doctrine of desuetude would apply and he referred to paragraphs - 30,34,35 and 36 in the said judgment and submitted that since the G.O. was not implemented, it must be taken as a dead letter. He therefore submitted that there is nothing to show that till 1979 the plaintiff has performed the charities and the deed of sale dated 10.4.1978 (Ex.A-4) itself shows that the plaintiff has not performed the charities. His main case is that the suit is barred by limitation and it is also not open to the plaintiff to file a suit for recovery of possession without a prayer for declaration of title to the suit properties.


7. Mr.S.Parthasarathy, learned counsel appearing for the appellant in L.P.A.No.34 of 2000 submitted that the charities created by Kathayee ammal are not religious charities. He referred to the provisions of the HRCE Act and submitted that it cannot be regarded as a charitable endowment. He also submitted that the terms of the deed (will) clearly show that the charity is not confined only to the Hindus and apart from the plea of limitation, he also raised a plea that the plaintiff has no locus standi to file the suit.


8. Counsel for the respondent/plaintiff, on the other hand, submitted that the sales in respect of the suit properties are void and it is not necessary for the plaintiff to seek declaration of title to the suit properties. He also submitted that since Sundaram Pillai took possession of the properties as a trustee, there is no question of Sundaram Pillai acquiring title by adverse possession in the trust properties. Learned counsel further submitted that in view section 109 of HRCE Act, the suit is not barred by limitation. He submitted that the trial Court and the learned Judge of this Court were correct in decreeing the suit as prayed for.


9. We have carefully considered the submissions of the learned counsel for the appellants and the learned counsel for the respondents. The HRCE Act applies to all Hindu public religious endowments including the incorporated Dewaswoms and Unincorporated Devaswoms. The HRCE Act has been enacted, inter alia, for the proper administration and governance of Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments in the State of Tamil Nadu. The expression 'religious endowment' is defined in section 6(17) of the HRCE Act which reads as under:-


" 'religious endowment' or endowment' means all property belongs to or given or endowed for the support of maths or temples or given or endowed for the performance of any service charity of a public nature connected therewith or of any other religious charity; and includes the institution concerned and also the premises thereof, but does not include gifts of property made as personal gifts to the archaka, service holder or other employees of a religious institution".


The words 'religious charity' is defined in section 6 (16) of the HRCE Act to mean a public charity associated with a Hindu festival or observance of a religious character, whether it be connected with a math or temple or not. The expression, 'charitable endowments' is defined in section 6 (5) of the HRCE Act which reads thus:


" 'Charitable endowments' means all property given or endowed for the benefit of, or used as of right by, the Hindu or the Jain community or any section thereof, for the support or maintenance of object of utility to the said community or section, such as rest-houses, choultries, patasalas, schools and colleges, houses for feeding the poor and institutions for the advancement of education, medical relief and public health or other objects of alike nature; and includes the institution concerned"


10. As far as the trust created by the will dated 17.1.1925 of Kathayee Ammal is concerned, a fair reading of the same clearly shows that the trust properties were bequeathed for charitable objects, viz., for the stay in the charity by Hindu pilgrims except a particular sect who visit Tiruvannamalai town to have darshan of Lord Arunachaleswarar in Sri Arunachaleswarar Temple. It also provides for poor feeding of two measures of Raghi and one measure of Kambu Koozh to such of those who come to and stay in the charity to have darshan of Lord Arunachaleswarar during the Tamil months of Chitirai, Vaikasi and Aani. The deed also provides for feeding of ten Sivanadiars with vegetable curry, sambar, rasam, chutny and butter milk on every Monday and Friday as well as on Kiruthigai star days. The recitals in the deed clearly show that Kathayee Ammal has created a Hindu religious charitable endowment.


11. The submission of Mr.Parthasarathy, learned counsel is that it is not a Hindu religious charitable endowment as it provides for poor feeding and therefore it would extend to non-Hindus also and it is not a Hindu Religious Charitable Endowment. We are unable to accept the said submission. It is axiomatic that the deed of trust has to be read as a whole to ascertain the intention of the testator or the author of the trust and it would not be advisable to take one word from the deed and give undue importance to that particular word out of context to contend that it is not a Hindu Charitable Endowment. We are of the view that if the document is read as a whole, it would show that the trust was created by a pious Hindu lady for the stay and feeding of Hindus who visit Tiruvannamalai to have darshan of Lord Arunachaleswarar and the deed also provides that the Sri Arunachaleswarar temple authorities should have a continuous control over the administration of the trust even if one of the properties mentioned in the will has to be sold. The object of the trust is clear that the charity is associated with the temple and the charity is created for the purpose of feeding the Hindus who come to Tiruvannamalai town to have darshan of Lord Arunachaleswarar and for their stay in the charity and they have a right to stay in the choutry as of right. Therefore we hold that the charity created by Kathayee Ammal is a Hindu religious charitable endowment.


12. The decision of the Supreme Court in COMMR. H.R. & C.E., MADRAS v. NARAYANA AYYANGAR (1965) II MLJ 47) is relevant where the Supreme Court has held that where the primary purpose of the charity is to feed Brahmin pilgrims attending the Rathothsavam in a local shrine, the public charity has a real connection with the Rathothsavam which is a Hindu festival of a religious character and therefore it is a religious charity within the meaning of section 6(13) of Madras Hindu Religious Charitable Endowments Act, XIX of 1951. Similarly, the charity created by Kathayee Ammal has a close nexus and link with the stay and feeding of Hindus who visit Tiruvannamalai to have darshan of Lord Arunachaleswarar and the charity was created for their stay and for feeding them and also for feeding 10 sivanadiars during particular days. The primary object of the trust is that it is for the stay and feeding of Hindu pilgrims who come to the town to have darshan of a Hindu shrine and for feeding sivanadiars. The object of poor feeding has to be considered in the light of that object of the trust, namely, the provision for the stay of Hindu pilgrims who visit the town and for feeding sivanadiars during particular days and the object of poor feeding is not an independent or separate object and it is closely connected with other object also.


13. Further, we are of the view that the object of poor feeding is meant only to those who come to Tiruvannamalai to have darshan of Lord Arunachaleswarar and the endowment is created only for the Hindus and not for others. Even assuming that the object of poor feeding is an independent object, we are of the view that the dominant intention of the executant Kathayee Ammal was to create a Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment and the object of providing poor feeding would not convert a Hindu religious charity into a general charity and a fair reading of the document as a whole indicates that the charity created by Kathayee Ammal is a Hindu religious charity.


14. The objection raised by Mr.Rajagopalan, learned senior counsel and Mr.Parthasarathy, learned counsel appearing for the appellants is that the suit is barred by limitation. Admittedly, Kathayee Ammal created the trust and Sundaram Pillai was appointed as a trustee and he accepted his position as a trustee. It is seen that certain proceedings were initiated against Sundaram Pillai. Learned senior counsel referred the averments made in the plaint as well as Ex.B-5 dated 18.5.1927 and submitted that Sundaram Pillai had perfected title by adverse possession even before coming into force of the HRCE Act. Learned senior counsel therefore submitted that the suit is barred by limitation. We are unable to accept the said submission as the document produced by the defendants in Ex.B-6 dated 27.10.1954 shows that the HRCE Department has conducted an enquiry under the Madras Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act, 1951 and Sundaram Pillai was directed to appear for the enquiry.


15. Apart from that, by Ex.A-8 the provisions of the HRCE Act were extended to the trust by G.O.Ms.No.4551, Revenue dated 12.12.1962. The Government Order has not been challenged and it has become final. Admittedly, Sundaram Pillai was only a trustee and even in the deed of exchange dated 29.12.1957, there is a reference to the trust deed dated 17.1.1925 executed by Kathayee Ammal and in the deed of exchange, he has stated that he was managing the trust properties. The deed specifically refers to the will of Kathayee ammal and it also states that the income was not sufficient to perform the trust obligations under the will. It implies that he was only a trustee and he was not able to perform the trust obligations even on the date of execution of the exchange deed. As seen from Ex.A-10, Sundaram Pillai was removed from the office of hereditary trusteeship by order dated 13.10.1977 and a fit person was appointed. Though in the order, there is a reference to an earlier order dated 13.10.1971 and even assuming that Sundaram Pillai was removed from the trusteeship on 13.10.1971, it must be held that Sundaram Pillai was only acting as a trustee of the trust till the date of his removal from the trusteeship. The law is well-settled that in the case of a public charitable trust, a trustee cannot prescribe title to the property of the trust by adverse possession against the beneficiary or against any other person and the trustee's legal representatives or assigns would be in no better position than the trustee himself. The Privy Council in MANICKAMMAL v. MURUGAPPA (AIR 1935 Madras 483) has held as under:-


" Under S.10 no length of time will bar a suit against an express trustee or his legal representative, or assigns (not being assigns for valuable consideration) for the purpose of following the trust property in his or their hands. The rule is that an express trustee cannot prescribe for a title by adverse possession against his beneficiary, and, of course, the trustee's legal representatives or assigns (without valuable consideration) are in no better position than the trustee himself."


16. A similar view was taken by the Privy Council in VIZIARAMARAZU v. THE SECRETARY OF STATE FOR INDIA IN COUNCIL (ILR VIII Madras 525) and the Privy Council held as under:-


"By Act XV of 1877, s.10, where property has become vested in a person in trust for a specific purpose, a suit to follow such property in his hands is not barred by lapse of time."


17. In U.N.Mitra's Law of Limitation and Prescription (Vol.I, 11th Edition,2000) at page 352, the learned author has observed as under:-


" 5. Trustees not to claim adversely. - A trustee cannot claim adversely to the trust [Cassamally Jairajbhai v. Sir Currimbhoy (1911) ILR 36 Bom.214 : Vijayramaraju v. Secretary of State (1885) ILR 8 Mad. 525 (PC)], nor the trustees legal representatives [Palaniandi Gramani v. Murugappa Gramani (1935) 157 I.C.181]. The position would be different where the trustee does not accept the trust being already in possession on his own behalf [Sheo Prasad Misir v. Karim Bux (1935) 157 I.C.1019) ]. So also where a third party was in possession claiming adversely to both the trustee and the cestui que trust, the existence of the trust does not preclude time running in his favour [Chidambaranatha v. Nallsiva, (1918 ILR 41 Mad.124: Surendra Krishna v. Bhubaneswari, (1933)ILR 60 Cal.54)].


The possession of an ex-trustee, till he discharges his obligation to hand over all the trust properties to the trust or the subsequent trustees would be deemed to be that of the trust itself [ Uppalapatti Venkataratnam v. Sri Chennakesavaswami Temple (1971) 2 An.W.R.383) ]. An archaka in possession cannot claim adversely to the trust and acquire proprietary rights in the lands of the temple to which apt in respect of such lands has been granted [ Bangaraiah v. Sri Ramalingaswami Temple (1972) 2 An.W.R.316) ]. Therefore the suit for the purpose of following the property which had become vested in the hands of trustee or a done from the trustee is not barred by any length of time. Section 10 would directly apply and the suit not be barred by any length of time against the respondents and therefore, the plea of limitation of 12 years of adverse possession would be of no avail to the respondents [Shamble Prasad Chat All v. Madhusudan Girder All Atari, (1985 (2) Guj.L.R. 907)]."


18. Further, the defendants have not proved by proper evidence that Sundaram Pillai had acquired title to the suit properties by adverse possession. The documents relied upon, viz., Exs.B3, B4 and B5 do not show that Sundaram Pillai had acquired title to the suit properties by adverse possession. It is also unnecessary to consider the same as Sundaram Pillai was only a trustee and once he was holding the properties as a trustee, he cannot claim adverse possession over the trust properties held by him. The deed of exchange was executed on 29.12.1957. Section 109 of the HRCE Act reads as under:-


"Property of religious institution not to vest under the law of limitation after the 30th September 1951. - Nothing contained in any law of limitation for the time being in force shall be deemed to vest in any person the property or funds of any religious institution which had not vested in such person or his predecessor-in-title before the 30th September 1951".


Under the above section, after 30.9.1951, nothing contained in the law of limitation shall be deemed to vest in any person the funds or property of any religious institution.


Section 109 is a special provision regarding the applicability of law of limitation to religious endowments. Since the exchange deed itself was executed after 30.9.1951, the suit properties have not vested in the transferees and therefore, the plaintiff is entitled to file the suit for recovery of possession.


19. In so far as other sale deeds are concerned, the suit was filed within the period of 12 years. As already observed by us, in the exchange deed dated 29.12.1957, Sundaram Pillai has taken a specific stand that he was in management of the properties of the trust and hence, the person in whose favour the property was exchanged has not acquired any right or interest in the said property.


20. Further, the defendants have failed to prove that Sundaram Pillai has obtained permission of Sri Arunachaleswarar Temple Devasthanam for the exchange of the properties. Though a plea was taken that prior notice was sent to Sri Arunachaleswarar Temple Devasthanam, the defendants have not proved that any such notice was sent to the Devasthanam. Further, the sale under Ex.A-4 was made in violation of the express directions of the settler of the trust mentioned in the deed of trust. The deed is very clear that item No.1 in the will should not be alienated by the trustee for any reason. The defendants alienated the property descried as item No.1 in the will contrary to the deed of trust and the express directions of the settler of the trust and hence, the sale deed is not valid and it does not bind Kathayee Ammal Charities.


21. Admittedly, the suit was filed on 16.11.1979 and while the suit was pending before the trial Court, the defendants 1 and 2 executed a deed of sale in favour of the 8th defendant, Saraswathi ammal as seen from Ex.A-7 on 12.11.1980 with regard to suit item No.4 which is the eastern portion of the property described as item No.1 in the will. The above alienation was made pending litigation and also against the terms and conditions of the will, Ex.A-1. We have already noticed that in the will Kathayee Ammal has stated that the property in item No.1 of the will should not be alienated for any reason. Therefore the sale deed Ex.A-7 is not valid and would not bind the plaintiff.


22. In so far as other documents are concerned, it is found that Sundaram Pillai as a trustee and his sons had given item Nos.1 and 2 of the suit properties to one Mannar Chettiar in exchange of some agricultural lands in Polur village for the discharge of personal debts and for a cash payment of Rs.9,000/-. It is also found that the sum of Rs.9,000/- was not deposited by Sundaram Pillai with Sri Arunachaleswarar temple and there is no evidence to show that the money was utilised for the trust. We have already found that there is no documentary evidence to show that Sundaram Pillai had written letters to Sri Arunachaleswarar temple Devasthanam seeking permission for the exchange of the trust property. Therefore the exchange deed would not bind the plaintiff as the exchange deed is void and not made in accordance with the deed of trust and hence, under the provisions of section 109 of the HRCE Act, the property has not vested with Mannar Chettiar. Hence, he has no power to execute the sale deed in Ex.A-5 dated 5.8.1976 and the sale deed is equally not valid. So also, the sale deed executed by Mannar Chettiar and his sons in favour of the fourth defendant in respect of suit item No.2 as evident from Ex.A-6 is void. Those documents would not confer any right on the defendants 3 and 4 in respect of items 1 and 2 of the suit properties.


23. As regards item No.3 of the suit properties, the deed of trust is very clear that the property should not be alienated for any reason. Further, proceedings were initiated against Sundaram Pillai for his removal as hereditary trustee as seen from the notice dated 27.10.1954 and only after the notice and during the pendency of the proceedings, the sons of Sundaram Pillai, viz., the defendants 1 and 2 executed the sale deed in respect of first item of the properties described in the will in favour of the fi

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fth defendant for a sum of Rs.25,000/-. We have already found that item Nos.3 and 4 of the suit properties which is described as item No.1 in the deed of trust should not be alienated by the trustee for any reason and in contravention of the said clause, the alienation has been made and therefore, the alienation is not valid. The defendants 1 and 2 have also executed Ex.A-7 sale deed in favour of the 8th defendant for a sum of Rs.3100/- in regard to suit item No.4 which is the eastern portion of item No.1 of the properties described in the will. The alienation was made during the pendency of the suit and therefore the alienation is also not valid. It is also relevant to mention that the defendants 3 to 5, the purchasers of the suit properties, were well aware of the terms of the will and in spite of the same, they have purchased the suit properties and they are not bona fide purchasers for value and therefore, the view of the learned Judge that the sales in favour of the defendants 3 to 5 cannot be sustained is upheld. 24. Another contention that was raised is that the suit without the prayer for declaration of title is not maintainable. This contention is also not acceptable as the exchange and sales are void transactions and it is not necessary for the plaintiff to seek declaration of title to the suit properties. In view of the same, the submission of the learned senior counsel for the appellants that there should have been a prayer for declaration of title is not acceptable and accordingly, it is rejected. 25. Learned senior counsel for the appellants also relied upon the decision of the Supreme Court in MUNICIPAL CORPN., PUNE v. BHARAT FORGE CO. LTD. (AIR 1996 SC 2856) and submitted that by the doctrine of desuetude, the trust ceased to exist and therefore, the alienations made by the defendants 1 and 2 and by Sundaram Pillai are valid. We are unable to accept the submission as Sundaram Pillai himself has referred to the will of Kathayee Ammal in the deed of exchange wherein he has also stated that the income was not sufficient to support the charities. The HRCE Department also initiated proceedings under the HRCE Act and notified the trust and brought the endowment within the purview of the HRCE Act and Sundaram Pillai was also removed from the office of trusteeship by virtue of the order passed by the Deputy Commissioner, HRCE Department, and the order has become final. Hence, it is not open to the learned senior counsel for the appellants to contend that by virtue of the doctrine of desuetude, the trust has ceased to function and the suit filed by the plaintiff is not maintainable in law. 26. We have gone through the judgment of the trial court as well as the learned Judge. We approve the reasonings contained in the judgments. We do not fine any reason to differ from the view taken by the learned Judge. Accordingly, the judgment and decree of the learned Judge is confirmed and all the Letters Patent Appeals stand dismissed. The respondents are entitled to costs of a sum of Rs.1,000/- in each of the appeals.
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