HC of HP

Om Prakash And Ors. v. State Of Himachal Pradesh And Ors.

Ravikiran Shukre_JudicateMe

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This Blog is written by Ravikiran Shukre Column Editor

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Court: High Court of Himachal Pradesh

Citation: [AIR (2001) HP 18]

Delivered On: 7th January, 2000

Bench: KAMLESH SHARMA, S. SARUP JJ.

Relevant Section/Article: Section 80 of the Code of Civil Procedure, Order 20 of the Code of Civil Procedure, Section 18 of the Himachal Pradesh Hindu Public Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 1984

 

FACTS OF THE CASE[1]

• Plaintiff No. 5(Appellant) is a temple by the name Shri Nandikeshwar Ji and it has sued through plaintiffs No. 1 to 4. On the other hand, defendant No. 1 is the State, defendant No. 2 is the Temple Commissioner and defendants No. 3 to 17(Respondents) are the Members of the Managing Committee of the temple Shri Chamunda Nandikeshwar.

• The plaintiffs (appellants) are aggrieved by the impugned decree and Judgment dated 5-7-1997 passed by District Judge, Dharamshala, whereby their suit for declaration and consequential relief of permanent prohibitory injunction has been dismissed. The plaintiffs (appellants) claim that plaintiff No. 5, temple Shri Nandikeshwar Ji is their private temple and they being the owner in possession of the same and the property attached thereto, the defendants have no right, title, and interest in it and the notification dated 24-2-1994 whereby the said temple along with temple Shri Chamunda Devi Ji has been included at Sr. No. 19 in Schedule-1 of the Himachal Pradesh Hindu Public Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments Act, 1984, (Act No. 18 of 1984), is wrong, illegal and void ab initio and liable to be quashed. The plaintiffs (appellants) have also prayed that defendants (respondents) may be restrained from interfering with their ownership and possession of the temple and the property attached thereto, hereinafter called the suit property.

• Plaintiffs also purported that, temple Shri Nandikehswara Ji is in khasra no. 438. Deity of Lord Shiva is installed in that temple by the predecessors of the plaintiffs in their (plaintiff’s/appellant’s) interest; being Gosains believed in the Supremacy of the Lord Shiva and were followers of Lord Shiva and plaintiffs being in their line of descendants are also worshipers of the Lord Shiva and continue to be the owners in possession of the temple and other suit property attached to it and enjoy its usufruct.

• It was further alleged by the plaintiffs that, continuous to the suit property, there is a temple known as temple Shri Chamunda Devi Ji and the land is recorded in the ownership of the said temple through its managing committee. Plaintiffs purport that the suit property is their exclusive property and the managing committee of the temple Shri Chamunda Devi Ji wanted to usurp the same, therefore, there is litigation regarding this since time immemorial.

• When the Managing Committee of temple Shri Chamunda Devi Ji failed in litigation with the plaintiffs, in order to propagate amongst the general public, it assumed the name of Shri Chamunda Nandikeshwar Management Committee (Regd.) and used to correspond with the public in the said name and style, ignoring the fact that temple Shri Nandi Keshwar Ji is a distinct entity and had nothing to do with the temple Shri Chamunda Devi Ji, defendant No. I vide its notification dated 24-2-1994 added Shri Chamunda Nandikeshwar Ji at Sr. No. 19 in Schedule-I to Act No. 18 of 1994.

• The plaintiffs further purport that, under the garb of the notification dated 24-2-1994 the defendants were threatening to interfere in the exclusive ownership and possession of the plaintiffs over the suit property. It is stated by the plaintiffs that since the property in dispute is the private property of the plaintiffs and is not meant for the public at large, it cannot be described as a public religious institution.

• It is also claimed by the plaintiffs that since they had constructed houses and shops over the part of the land in dispute out of their hard earnings and are in possession of cultivable land in lieu of POOJA of temple Shri Nandikeshwar Ji, the status of plaintiffs No. 1 to 4 over the suit property is that of the tenant and they cannot be denied of their rights of tenancy without following the procedure prescribed under law. The plaintiffs purport that, the provisions of the Act No. 18 of 1994 are not at all attracted to the suit property, which is the private temple of plaintiffs No. 1 to 4 and the property attached thereto.

• Defendants filed this suit when they were unable to admit the claim put forth by the Plaintiffs.

ISSUES RAISED

• Whether temple-plaintiff no.5 is a private temple of plaintiffs 1 to 4 as alleged if so its effect?

• Whether the trust constituted by the defendants no. 2 to 18 vide notification dated 24/02/1994 is wrong, illegal, null, and void as alleged? If so, to what effect?

• Whether plaintiff no. 1 to 4 are the owners and in possession of the land in dispute comprising of Khata no. 287 as alleged?

• Whether the land in dispute comprising of Khasra Nos. 495. 496 and 498 were granted to the plaintiffs as Muafi, as alleged. If so, to what effect?

• Whether the residential houses of the plaintiffs are located in the land in dispute, comprising of khasra Nos. 439 and 443. as alleged. If so, to what effect?

• Whether the suit is not maintainable?

• Whether the plaintiffs are estopped by their acts and conduct, omission and commission and acquiescence?

• Whether the suit is bad for want of notice under Section 80 of Code of Civil Procedure?

• Whether the suit has been properly valued for the purposes of Court-fee and jurisdiction?

• Relief?

RULE OF LAW WHICH APPLIES

1. In case of Fomento Resorts and Hotels Ltd. v. Gustavo Ranato da Cruz Pinto[2] Hon’ble Supreme Court has held that “In a matter where several contentions factual and legal are urged and when there is a scope of an appeal from the decision of the Court, it is desirable as was observed by the Privy Council a long time ago to avoid delay and protraction of litigation that the Court should, when dealing with any matter dispose of all the points and not merely rest its decision on one single point.”

2. Similarly, in the case of Ram Ranbijaya Prasad Singh v. Sukar Ahir[3] High Court of Patna had held that not deciding issues separately by referring to material evidence on each issue for and against the parties and giving reasons for acceptance or rejection, the impugned judgment is ineffective.

STATING THE APPLICATION OF RULE OF LAW WHICH APPLIES

Section 2 (9) of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 defines Judgment as “The statement given by the judge of the grounds of the decree or order”. The judgment pronounced by the judge is consist of – (a) Concise Statement of Facts, (b) Points for the determination (i.e. issues), (c) Decision thereon, (d) Reasons to be properly given/provided in the judgment regarding the decision arrived from the points for determination.

Along with the abovementioned essential constituents of the judgment, an important aspect is that court to pronounce the judgment on all issues[4], and also court must state its decision on each and every issue[5]. The significance of these provisions is that the trial Court after framing issues; is supposed to give its finding or decision, with reason upon each separate issue.

The crucial aspect of giving decisions in the judgment is that it should be proper, just, and reasonable and must cover and reflect each and every issue. To simply put it, the court must give separate findings on each issue, because simply enumerating the evidence and law and thereafter giving a conclusion whereby the case of one party is accepted and the other party is rejected, is no judgment in the eyes of law.

CONCLUSION

The judgment pronounced by the judge is consist of – (a) Concise Statement of Facts, (b) Points for the determination (i.e. issues), (c) Decision thereon, (d) Reasons to be properly given/provided in the judgment regarding the decision arrived from the points for determination. Reasons given must be related with each and every issue and must reflect issues because the judgment which does not contain the reasons or grounds on the basis of which the Judge has come to his conclusion/decision for passing a Judgment and decree on the points in issue or controversy, is vitiated/ineffective.

REFERENCES

[1] Om Prakash & Ors. v. State of Himachal Pradesh & Ors. [AIR (2001) HP 18].

[2] Fomento Resorts and Hotels Ltd. v. Gustavo Ranato da Cruz Pinto [AIR (1985) SC 736].

[3] Ram Ranbijaya Prasad Singh v. Sukar Ahir, [AIR (1947) Pat 334 (SB)].

[4] Order XIV Rule 2 of the Code of Civil Procedure Code, 1908.

[5] Order XX Rule 5 of the Code of Civil Procedure Code, 1908.

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