U. P. Sunni Central Wakf Board Vs. Md.
Alim & Ors  INSC 153 (7 May 1971)
CITATION: 1971 AIR 1396 1971 SCR 810
Uttar Pradesh Muslim Waqfs Act,
1960-Religious Endowment Act,1861 Act 20 of 1863-District Judge has no power to
fill in vacancy on the committee constituted under the latter Act.
The Waqf of the Durgah at Fatehpuri is one of
the Waqfs to which the provisions of the Uttar Pradesh Muslim Waqfs Act, 1960
applied. When vacancies arose on the committee of Management constituted under
the Religious Endowment Act, 1861 (Act 20 of 1863) and these were not filled by
election in terms of s. 10 of this Act, the appellant Board, constituted under
the 1960 Act, filled in the vacancies acting under the provisions of the Act.
Thereupon respondent no. 1 filed an application in the court of the District
Judge under Act 20 of 1863 to appoint persons to fill in the vacancies. The
District Judge held that he had the power to reconstitute the managing committee
under s. 10 of Act 20 of 1863 and directed that the vacancies be filled in
according to the rules. The High Court in revision came to the conclusion that
there was no provision in the 1960 Act corresponding to s. 13 of Act 20 of 1863
which cast an additional responsibility on the committee to keep in its custody
accounts and consequently held that the Committee constituted under Act 20 of
1863 could still continue to discharge some of the functions assigned to it,
and the District Judge was thus competent to entertain an application under s.
10 there of.
HELD: The District Judge had no jurisdiction
or power to fill in, vacancies on the Committee constituted under the
provisions of Act 20, of 1863.
Sections 49 and 50 of the 1960 Act leave no
room for doubt that accounts, which would include books of account, and all
relevant records deeds and documents have to be in Mutawalli's custody and he
is bound to produce them for inspection by the Board whenever so desired
an& Mutawalli according to the definition includes a committee of
management The Act is self contained and makes provision for complete super intendance
administration and control of the Waqfs over which the boards established under
s. 10 of the 1960 Act, have jurisdiction.
Therefore, there cannot be an independent
existence of a committee constituted under Act 20 of 1863 only for the purpose
of having custody of books of account particularly when the 1960 Act fully
contemplates and provides for the maintenance, custody etc. of accounts and account
books by the mutawalli. There is a clear inconsistency between its provisions
and those of Act 20 of 1860 relating to committees, their functioning and
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION : Civil Appeal
No. 1021 of 1966.
Appeal by special leave from the judgment and
decree dated September 8, 1965 of the Allahabad High Court in Civil Revision,
No. 76 of 1964.
811 C. B. Aggarwala, K. L. Hathi, Quayamuddin
Shah and P. C. Kapoor, for the appellant.
M. C. Chagla and S. S. Shukla, for respondent
S. K. Bagga and S. Bagga, for respondent Nos.
2(i) to (iii).
The Judgment of the Court was delivered by
Grover, J.-This is an appeal by special leave from a judg- ment of the
Allahabad High Court made in exercise of the revisional jurisdiction.
The appellant is a statutory board
established under the provisions of s. 10 of the Uttar Pradesh. Muslim Waqfs
Act, 1960, hereinafter called the 'Act'. The Act applies to all waqfs which at
the time of its coming into force were under the superintendence of the Shia
Central Board and the Shia Central Board constituted under the U.P. Muslims
Waqfs Act 1936.
The present proceedings relate to the famous
Durgah of Hazrat Sheikh Saleem Chishti at Fatehpuri Sikri in the district of
Agra said to have been established by Emperor Akbar. The Durgah was
administered originally by the Moghuls and thereafter by the Board of Revenue
established by the British Government under the Bengal Regulation No. 19 of
1810. Subsequently the Religious Endowment Act 1861 (Act 20 of 1863) was passed
which provided for the management of mosques, temples and other religious
Section 7 of Act 20 of 1863 provided for the
appointment and constitution of the committees which were to be appointed by
the State Government for the management of religious establishments mentioned
in s. 3 of that Act. Section 10 provided for election when a vacancy occurred
in the committee. By G.O. dated July 7, 1925 and a subsequent notification
dated February 27, 1927 rules for the election of the managing committee were
framed and a committee was formed.
The Waqf of the Durgah was registered as one
of the waqfs under the superintendence of the Board as provided by s. 5 of the
U. P. Muslim Waqfs Act 1936. It is common ground that the waqf is registered
and it is one of the waqfs to which the provisions of the Act would be
applicable. The term of four members of the committee constituted under the
provisions of Act 20 of 1863 expired in 1962 and as the vacancies were not
filled in by election the President of the appellant board filled in the
vacancies acting under the provisions of the Act. Respondent No. I filed an
application In the court of the District Judge at Agra purporting to be an
application under Act 20 of 1863 stating inter alia that the President of the
appellant board had constituted a committee 812 of five persons under the
provisions of the Act by filling in the four vacancies. It was further averred
that the provisions of the Act, particularly s. 48, did not obviate the
necessity of the appointment of the committee by the District Judge under s. 10
of Act 20 of 1863. It was, therefore, prayed that the District Judge may
appoint persons to fill in the vacancies. The appellant board contested that
application principally on the ground that after the enactment of the Act the
provisions of s. 10 of Act 20 of 1863 were no longer applicable. The appellant
board also maintained that the appointment of the committee by the court would
be inconsistent with the appointment of a managing committee by the board under
the provisions of the Act.
The District Judge by his judgment dated
November 23, 1963 held that he had the power to reconstitute the managing
committee under s. 10 of Act 20 of 1863. He directed that the vacancies shall
be filled up according to the prescribed rules. The appellant moved the High
Court under s. 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure for revising the order of the
District Judge. The High Court referred to the relevant provisions of the Act
as well as Act 20 of 18-63. It was of the view that for the purpose of Act 20
of 1863 mosques, temples and other religious establishments could be divided in
two main groups. One was that to which the provisions of the Bengal Regulation
No. 19 of 1810 or Madras Regulation No. 7 of 1817 were applicable. The other
group was the one to which the provisions of these Regulations did not apply.
The first group could be sub-divided into two
depending upon the mode of nomination or appointment of the trustee, manager or
superintendent. Section 3 of Act 20 of 1863 applied to religious establishments
falling in the sub-group in which. the nomination of a trustee, manager or
superintendent thereof was vested in, or was exercised by or was subject to the
confirmation of the government or any public officer. In case of establishments
covered by s. 3 it was necessary for the State Government to proceed under s. 7
and to appoint one or more committees. On the appointment of the committee the
Board, of Revenue and the local agents ceased to exercise the functions
assigned to them under the Regulation and they were to transfer to such
committee all landed or other property belonging to the establishment. After
referring to the relevant provisions of the Act the learned judge held that the
general power of superintendence conferred on the committee constituted under
s. 7 of Act 20 of 1863 became vested in the appellant board constituted under
the Act. The continuance of the committee for the general supervision of waqfs
was, therefore, inconsistent with the provisions of s. 19 of the Act and in
such circumstances the corresponding provisions of Act 20 of 1863 stood
repealed with the result that the committee appointed under s. 7 of that
enactment could not discharge the general 813 power of supervision and superintendence
of waqfs to which the Act applied. However, in the opinion of the learned judge
there was no provision in the Act corresponding to s.
13 of Act 20 of 1863. That section casts an
additional responsibility on the committee in that it has to keep in its
custody accounts regularly submitted by the trustee, manager or superintendent
of the mosque or religious establishment. Clauses (g) and (i) of s. 19(2) and
s. 27 of the Act did not show any inconsistency with the provisions of s. 13 of
Act 20 of 1863. It was consequently held that the committee constituted under
s. 7 of Act 20 of 1863 could still continue to discharge some of the functions
assigned to it and the District Judge was thus competent to entertain an
application under s. 10 thereof and fill the vacancy among the members of the
We are unable to share the view of the High
Court. On his own reasoning the learned judge could not. have come to the
conclusion at which he arrived, namely, that although the power of general
superintendence of the waqf in question vested in the appellant board and that
the committee constituted under s. 7 of Act 20 of 1863 could not exercise those
powers which were exercisable by the board a committee under the old Act could
still function for the purpose of s. 13 of that Act inasmuch as such a
committee would still have the custody of the accounts of the Waqf.
The Act has been enacted to provide for
better governance, administration and supervision of certain classes of waqf in
the State of U.P. Section 3(5) defines the word "mutawalli" to mean:
"a manager of a waqf and includes an
amin, a sajjadanashin, a khadim, naib-mutawalli and a committee of management,
and also includes any person who is for the time being in charge of, or
administering, waqfs." Section 10 provides for the establishment of
Section 19 contains the functions of the
Board. Sub-s. (1) says that the Board shall do all things reasonable or
necessary to ensure that the waqfs under its superintendence are properly
maintained, controlled and administered and the income thereof is duly
appropriated to the purpose for which they were founded or for which they
exist. The following clauses of sub-s. (2) may be noticed :- "(g) to
inspect or cause inspection of waqf properties accounts or records or deeds and
documents relating thereto (h) to investigate into the nature and extent of
waqf properties and call, from time to time, accounts and other returns and
information 814 from the mutawallis and give directions for the proper administration
(i) to arrange for the auditing of accounts
submitted or required to be submitted by the mutawallis ;
(k) to administer the Waqf Fund (1) to keep
regular accounts of the receipts and disbursement and submit the same to the
State Government in the manner prescribed;
Section 48 relates to appointment of
mutawallis and s. 49 to their duties. The mutawalli is bound to carry out all
directions issued by the board and to furnish such returns and supply such
information as may be required by the board or the sub-committee from time to
time. The mutawalli has also to allow inspection of waqf property, accounts or
records or deeds and documents relating thereto. Under s.
50 he has to prepare every year a budget for
the next financial year and submit to the board before the first day of May in
every year a full and true statement of accounts.
Section 85(1) provides that nothing in any
other enactment which is inconsistent with the provisions of the Act shall
apply to any waqf to which the Act applied.
As has been stated before, it is not disputed
that the waqf of the Durgah is governed by the provisions of the Act. The
entire scheme of the Act shows that the control and supervision over the waqf
is that of the board constituted under s. 10. It is the board that has full
powers with regard to inspection of accounts, their auditing, administration of
the waqf funds and an such matters.
Sections 49 and 50 leave no room for doubt
that accounts which would include books of account and all relevant records,
deeds and documents have to be in Mutawalli's custody and he is bound to
produce them for inspection of the board whenever so desired.
"Mutawalli", according to the definition, includes a committee of
management. The Act appears to be self-contained and makes provisions for
complete superintendence, administration and control of the waqfs over which
the boards established under s. 10 have jurisdiction. It is barely possible to
envisage the independent existence of a committee constituted under Act 20 of
1863 only for the purpose of having custody of the books of account
particularly when the Act fully contem- plates and provides for the
maintenance, custody etc. of accounts and account books by the mutawalli. It is
common ground that the Act was passed with the approval of the President of
India. There is a clear inconsistency between its provisions and those of Act
20 of 1.863 relating to committees, their functioning and control.
815 We accordingly hold that the District
Judge had no jurisdiction or power to fill in vacancies on the committee
constituted under the provisions of Act 20 of 1863., The appeal is therefore
allowed and the orders of the High Court and the District Judge are hereby set
aside. The application under the provisions of Act 20 of 1863 shall stand
dismissed. The parties will bear their ,,own costs in this Court.
K.B.N. Appeal allowed.