Posted On by &filed under Calcutta High Court, High Court.

Calcutta High Court
Guiram Ghosal vs Lal Behari Das on 21 March, 1910
Equivalent citations: (1910) ILR 37 Cal 578
Author: S A Carnduff
Bench: Stephen, Carnduff


Stephen and Carnduff, JJ.

1. This case arises under Section 147 of the Criminal Procedure Code. There is a dispute between the parties, one of whom claims as against the other an hereditary right to perform the duties of pujari of an idol in a certain temple. The other party makes the case that the first party is merely a servant. On the matter coming before the Magistrate, he held that he had no jurisdiction under Section 147 of the Criminal Procedure Code to deal with this dispute, because the rights set forth by the petitioners did not amount to an easement over any land.

2. We have granted a rule to show cause why this order should not be set aside on the ground that the Magistrate had jurisdiction to deal with the case. On considering the matter and hearing the arguments of the learned pleaders, we are of opinion that the Magistrate was right. Section 147 of the Criminal Procedure Code, as has been pointed out, is not in terms confined to easements, but relates to any dispute concerning the right of use of land or water. In the present case, there is no doubt a dispute; but, looking at the terms of the section, we cannot consider that it is the right of use of land that is here in dispute. It may be that it is impossible to perform the duties of a pujari without entering upon the land on which the temple is built. But it is the worship which is disputed, and not the use of the land. The expression “land” is not defined in the Code of Criminal Procedure, but it is to be observed that, for the purposes of the somewhat analogous provisions of Section 145, it is not referred to as necessarily including buildings. Another view has been adopted by the Madras High Court in Kader Batcha v. Kader Batcha Rowthan (1905) I.L.R. 29 Mad. 237, following a previous decision of the same Court; but we can only say that, looking at the obvious purposes for which the section was intended, and considering also the scope of Section 145 of the Code, we think that the present dispute is certainly not one which it was intended that Section 147 should cover.

3. The result is that the rule is discharged.

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