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Ansarul Islam Educational Assn vs Mrs.P.V.Kunhibi on 18 January, 2008

Kerala High Court
Ansarul Islam Educational Assn vs Mrs.P.V.Kunhibi on 18 January, 2008
       

  

  

 
 
  IN THE HIGH COURT OF KERALA AT ERNAKULAM

AS No. 43 of 2000(D)



1. ANSARUL ISLAM EDUCATIONAL ASSN.
                      ...  Petitioner

                        Vs

1. MRS.P.V.KUNHIBI
                       ...       Respondent

                For Petitioner  :SRI G. UNNIKRISHNAN

                For Respondent  :SRI.AVM.SALAHUDIN

The Hon'ble MR. Justice KURIAN JOSEPH
The Hon'ble MR. Justice HARUN-UL-RASHID

 Dated :18/01/2008

 O R D E R
               KURIAN JOSEPH & HARUN-UL-RASHID,JJ.

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                            A..S. NOS. 43 & 104 OF 2000

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                      Dated this the 18th day of January, 2008.


                                      JUDGMENT

Harun-Ul-Rashid, J.

These appeals are filed against the judgment and decree in O.S.

No.589 of 1992 on the file of the 1st Additional Sub Court, Kozhikode.

A.S. No.43 of 2000 is filed by the plaintiffs and A.S. No.104 of 2000 is

filed by the additional second defendant in the suit. The suit was filed for

a decree directing the first defendant to vacate and surrender possession of

the properties detailed in the plaint schedule, for damages to the tune of

Rs.50,000/-, for mense profits, past and future and other ancillary reliefs.

The trial court by the impugned judgment held that Ext.A2 deed does not

constitute a valid Wakf, that the provision in the deed for appropriating the

income by the Wakif is repugnant to Mohammedan Law since the Wakif

belongs to the Shafi Sect. and that the Wakif himself was enjoying the

property while he was acting as Muthavalli. The trial court also held that

Ext.A2 deed was invalid because of the repugnant provisions contained in

it and that the plaintiff/society does not acquire any right in the Wakf

properties. On the basis of the finding recorded, the court below

dismissed the suit.

A.S.NOS.43 & 104 OF 2000 2

2. The first plaintiff is a society registered under the Registration

Act. According to the plaintiffs, under a registered Wakf deed

No.281/1927, executed by deceased Khan Bahadur Valiyakath Hajee Ali

Barami, the plaint schedule property stood dedicated by way of Wakf.

There is a clause in the Wakf deed that in case the family of Ayishabi and

Pathummabi becomes extinct, the beneficiaries of the Wakf shall be the

plaintiff’ school and the Madrassas under it. It was also made clear that the

trustees of the said school shall become the Muthavalli. According to the

first plaintiff, since the last Muthavalli died on 8.4.1992 without leaving

any issues, the plaintiff/society has become the sole beneficiary of the

Wakf and that the defendant has no manner of title, claim, interest or rights

whatsoever in the Wakf properties. The first plaintiff, therefore, instituted

the suit for the aforementioned reliefs.

3. The first defendant who is in possession of the plaint schedule

properties and acting as the present Muthavalli resisted the suit inter alia

contending that the plaintiff/society has no right or authority to file the

suit and that it is not correct to say that the family of Ayishabi and

Pathummabi became extinct. The defendant also contended that she is

the senior most member who has been accepted, adopted and treated by the

A.S.NOS.43 & 104 OF 2000 3

original Wakif and the other female descendants as the Muthavalli and

that she is in absolute possession and management of the Wakf properties.

She further contended that she and her children are entitled to continue the

line of succession and are legally and rightfully entitled to be the trustee

and beneficiary of the Wakf. According to the defendant, deed

No.281/1927 is not a Wakf deed, that the deed attaches more importance

to the maintenance of the family members by appropriating the income

than for charitable or other purpose and that without any permanent

dedication of the properties, the deed is invalid. It is also contended that in

the subsequent deeds executed in 1951, 1958 and 1961, the status of the

defendant as the trustee of the tharwad is asserted, affirmed and accepted

by the original Wakif. The defendant also contended that the

plaintiff/society has no manner of right over the plaint schedule property

and nor are they entitled to get recovery of possession of the properties

and, therefore, prayed for dismissal of the suit. The Wakf Board also filed

a written statement supporting the claim of the defendant and prayed for

dismissal of the suit.

4. The court below interpreted the various clauses in Ext.A2 Wakf

deed. The court below noticed that Ext.A2 would show that the settlor had

made it clear in the deed that recital of Quran, reading of Moulood and

A.S.NOS.43 & 104 OF 2000 4

providing food to the poor on the day of Moulood should be from the

income from the property. Referring to Section 3 of the Mussalman Wakf

Validating Act, 1913, the court below observed that there cannot be any

valid Wakf since Ext.A2 contains a provision for appropriation of the

property by the Wakif himself. According to the learned Judge, the

recitals in Ext.A2 clearly show that there is a provision in the said deed

that the Wakif could enjoy his property. This provision is repugnant to

the provisions of the Mussalman Wakf Validating Act and hence it was

held that no valid Wakf was created by Ext.A2 deed.

5. We have gone through the different clauses in Exts.A2, B1 and

B2 deeds. For the creation of a valid Wakf, there should be permanent

dedication by a Muslim of his properties for any purposes recognized by

Muslim Law as religious, pious or charitable. To constitute a Wakf, not

only should the object be religious, it should be charitable as well. Unless

a permanent dedication to charity is ascertainable from a document, it

would not be proper to declare it as Wakf deed. We have noticed the

following recitals at pages 2 and 3 of Ext.A2:

                                   .            In   page   3   of   Ext.A2   it   is   recited   that


A.S.NOS.43 & 104 OF 2000                                5






























                                                             .      In  page   4   of   Ext.A2




deed, there is a provision for right of residence of tarwad members. The

recitals in page 4 of the deed would again go to show that the properties

shall not be alienated or encumbered by any members of the tarwad. It is

also recited at pages 4 and 5 of Ext.A2 that Ayishabi followed by

Pathummabi and their descendants shall act as Muthavallis and shall in

their capacity as Muthavallis, after remitting the tax and expenses for

repair and maintenance, utilise the balance amount for religious and

charitable purposes. At page 7, there is a provision for vesting the

properties in favour of Madrassaul Muhamadiya school of madrassa for

the purpose of educating the orphans. It is further recited therein that the

trustees of the said school shall manage and spend the income for the said

charitable purposes.

6. On 25.9.1958, the Wakif executed Ext.B2 deed in which the first

defendant who is the niece of the Wakif and her descendants were

authorised to act as Muthavallis of the Wakf properties and that the

A.S.NOS.43 & 104 OF 2000 6

defendant and her descendants, as members of the family, shall act in

succession and continue to manage the property and do the acts stated in

Ext.A2 Wakf deed. Again, the Wakif on 20.10.1961 executed another

settlement deed marked as Ext.B1 clarifying and explaining the duties of

the Muthavalli.

7. Learned counsel appearing for the Mohammedan Educational

Association in A.S. No.43 of 2000, referring to the clauses stated above,

submitted that a valid Wakf was created by Ext.A2 deed and, therefore,

the interpretation of Ext.A2 by the court below is incorrect. He

particularly referred to the recitals at pages 2 and 3 which are extracted

above. According to him, going by the object for which Ext.A2 was

executed, the basic requisite is that there should be a permanent dedication

of property for religious or charitable purposes. The various purposes

enunciated in Ext.A2 and the object for which Ext.A2 was executed,

according to counsel, would show that there is a permanent dedication of

property for the purposes recognised by Mohammedan Law as religious,

pious or charitable. According to him, this is not a case where the only

object is recital of Quran and observing Moulood. Therefore, according

to him, the contention of the first defendant that these are not the objects

for which Ext.A2 was created cannot stand. Besides recital of Quran,

A.S.NOS.43 & 104 OF 2000 7

reading of Moulood and feeding the poor, there are other recitals in the

Wakf deed which would go to show that the income from the Wakf

properties shall be utilised for other charitable purposes, contended

counsel.

8. Learned counsel appearing for the first respondent/defendant

brought to our notice Section 3(a) of the Mussalman Wakf Validating Act,

1913 and canvassed the position that it shall be lawful for a Mussalman to

create a Wakf for the purpose of maintenance and support wholly or

partially of his family, children and descendants and, therefore, the

provision in Ext.A2 deed making provision for maintenance of the family

members is not repugnant to Mohammedan Law. Counsel also referred to

the definition of Wakf deed under Section 3(s) of the Wakf Act, 1995

which reads as follows:

“wakf deed” means any deed or instrument by

which a wakf has been created and includes any

valid subsequent deed or instrument by which

any of the terms of the original dedication have

been varied.”

According to the learned counsel, the provision in Ext.A2 regarding

dedication of property as a family Wakf is made intact and is not violated

in Exts.B1 or B2 deeds. Exts.B1 and B2 deeds are created only for the

A.S.NOS.43 & 104 OF 2000 8

purpose of appointing subsequent Muthavallis and for laying down duties

for the purpose of management. The dedication in Ext.A2 deed has

neither changed nor varied in Exts.B1 and B2. According to counsel, such

execution of subsequent deeds are permissible under the Wakf Act and

that such subsequent deeds form part of the original deed. Counsel also

contended that the Wakf is not valid because it contains provisions for

appropriation of the property by the Wakif himself and that the settlor

himself can enjoy the property is repugnant to the Mussalman Wakf

Validating Act. According to him, such an appropriation of property is

permissible only if the Wakif is a Hanafi Mussalman.

9. Learned counsel appearing for the appellant in A.S. No.43 of

2000 also contended that if the Wakf is created with a condition that the

whole or part of it shall be for himself while he lives and after him for the

poor is strictly in consonance with the principles of Mohammedan Law,

that it is permissible to create wakf-alal-aulad under which a trust in

perpetuity can be created for the maintenance and support wholly or

partially of the family of the settlor, his children or descendants from

generation to generation and thereafter for the benefit of the poor or for

any other purpose recognized by Mohammedan Law as religious, pious or

charitable purposes of a permanent character.

A.S.NOS.43 & 104 OF 2000 9

10. Learned counsel appearing for the Kerala Wakf Baord/appellant

in A.S. No.104 of 2000 submitted that the Wakf in question was registered

in 1968 before the Wakf Board at a time when the Wakif was alive and

that the Muthavallis from time to time had understood and accepted

Ext.A2 as a valid Wakf and submitted annual returns and paid contribution

to the Wakf Board and, therefore, they cannot now turn round and say that

no valid Wakf was created by Ext.A2. Counsel also pointed out that the

first defendant had submitted an application on 8.3.1993 before the Board

to enter her name as Muthavalli of the Wakf on the death of the former

Muthavalli, Valiyakath Pathummabi on 8.4.1991 and that the conduct of

the first defendant is proof positive to show that Ext.A2 is a valid Wakf.

11. On the facts and circumstances of the case, we are of the view

that a reading of Exts.A2, B1 and B2 as a whole, to spell out the contents

and manner of its terms is necessary for the proper adjudication of the

respective contentions raised by the parties to the suit. The first

respondent in A.S. No.43 of 2000 filed I.A. No.4146 of 2007 praying to

receive Annexure R1 document, which is the register of Wakf relating to

Barami Valiyakam Charitable and Family Wakf, as an additional

document. It is stated in Annexure R1 that the register pertains to the suit

A.S.NOS.43 & 104 OF 2000 10

properties and that the same was registered with the Wakf Board by the

then trustee of the properties. According to the petitioner in the above

application the suit properties are family trust properties and the petitioner

is the present trustee of the said properties and that the trust was created

predominantly for the welfare of the family members of the person who

executed it. The petitioner prayed that she and her children may be held to

be the beneficiaries of the properties in the event of this Court finding that

Exts.A2, B1 and B2 are family Wakf properties.

12. Since Annexure-R1 is a document produced only in the appeal,

the learned counsel for the appellants pray that the matter may be remitted

to the court below, so that the parties will get an opportunity to take all

contentions centering round the said document. The counsel for the

respondents also submitted that in view of the contentions taken by the

parties in both the appeals, some of which are referred to by us above and

which have not been considered by the court below, the cases may be

remanded to the court below with opportunity to adduce evidence, if any.

Having regard to the nature of the contentions, we are of the view that it is

only appropriate that such an opportunity is given to the parties before the

court below in which case the said court being the court at the first

instance will get an opportunity to adjudicate all those issues.

A.S.NOS.43 & 104 OF 2000 11

Accordingly, we set aside the judgment and decree under appeal.

Under the Wakf Act, 1995, any question relating to Wakf property shall be

decided by the Tribunal and the jurisdiction of the civil court is barred

under Section 85 of the Act. Therefore we remand O.S. No.589 1992 to

the Wakf Tribunal, Kozhikode for denovo consideration. The parties are

at liberty to adduce fresh evidence, if any. There will be no order as to

costs.

KURIAN JOSEPH, JUDGE)

(HARUN-UL-RASHID, JUDGE)

sp/

A.S.NOS.43 & 104 OF 2000 12

KURIAN JOSEPH &

HAURN-UL-RASHID, JJ.

A.S.NOS.43 & 104 OF 2000

JUDGMENT

18TH JANUARY, 2008

A.S.NOS.43 & 104 OF 2000 13

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