Sreeman Shadagopa … vs Ramanuja Chariar And Anr. on 2 August, 1898

Madras High Court
Sreeman Shadagopa … vs Ramanuja Chariar And Anr. on 2 August, 1898
Equivalent citations: (1898) 8 MLJ 190


1. In our opinion the plaintiffs have entirely misconceived their rights. Their case is that no successor has been appointed in place of the deceased Jeer. They ask for a declaration that the defendant is not the duly appointed successor; they pray that the Court may be pleased to appoint a successor or cause one to be elected according to usage; and they ask that the property be delivered up to the person so appointed.

2. In the plaint, it is alleged, that the disciples should, when no successor has been appointed by the Jeer before death, meet and select a proper successor, and the defendant agrees that this is the custom.

3. No reason is suggested why the disciples, whom the plaintiffs represent, should not have met and made their selection. There was thus no authority for them to come to the Court to assist them in making the appointment. They might have made an appointment and allowed the appointee to bring a suit for ejectment, if necessary. It is quite clear that the plaintiffs are not entitled to a mere declaration (Srinivasa Aiyangar v. Srinivasaswami, I.L.R., 16 M., 31) and they cannot be more entitled, because an unnecessary prayer for an appointment by the Court is added, In the cases cited, we must assume that there were circumstances which made it impracticable for the person having the right to appointment to exercise that right and thus entitled them to come to the Court. In those cases, moreover, the decree was drawn up in such a way as to preclude the possibility of another suit.

4. In the present case, as the decree stands, it will apparently remain open to the defendant to take objection to the appointment which is made under the decree–and thus another suit may be required, whereas, if the suit were brought by a person appointed by the disciples, the whole dispute might be decided in one suit. Nothing has been done on the decree, though it is now nearly two years old, and it is ten years since the vacancy occurred. The reason probably is that the respondents know they cannot obtain a majority.

5. We reverse the decree and dismiss the suit with costs throughout.

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