Muni Kumar Razdan Vs.
Trimuti Charitable Trust, Gwalior & Ors.  INSC 1000 (8 May 2009)
IN THE SUPREME COURT
OF INDIA CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION CIVIL APPEAL NO. 3474 OF 2009 (Arising
out of SLP (Civil) No.16046 of 2004 Muni Kumar Razdan ....
Trimurti Charitable Trust, Gwalior & Ors. ....Respondents
DR. ARIJIT PASAYAT, J.
in this appeal is to the order passed by a Division Bench of the Madhya Pradesh
High Court, Gwalior Bench, allowing the Letters Patent Appeal filed by the
respondents. The appeal filed by the present respondents was directed against
the order of the leaned Single Judge in Writ Petition 789 of 2000. Preliminary
objection was raised by the present appellant taking the stand that the appeal
was not maintainable as no orders have been passed. Learned counsel for the
present appellant submitted that the order passed by the learned Single Judge
is not a judgment within the meaning of clause 10 of the Letters Patent.
appellants in the Letters Patent Appeal submitted that writ petition was
decided without issuing notice to the appellants before the writ court i.e.
present respondents. The petition was disposed of on the first day it was
listed for admission at motion hearing stage and after recording presence of
counsel for the State on advance notice.
was submitted that the respondent-trust was not registered at the Public Trust
under Section 5 of the Madhya Public Trust Act, 1951 (in short the `Act'). It
is provided under Section 8 that any person aggrieved by registration of the
trust may file civil suit challenging registration. It was submitted that after
registration of the trust a writ petition was filed.
notice, learned Single Judge had issued direction holding therein that the
Registrar has power to review the order of registration. It was also submitted
that the writ petitioner had filed the civil suit under Section 8 challenging
the registration and in that event petition should have been dismissed. The
Division Bench was of the view that the basic question was whether after
registration of the trust, Registrar, Public Trusts has jurisdiction to revive
the order of registration. After referring to various provisions it was held
that the Single Judge was not justified in deciding the matter without issuing
notice. The High Court, however, held that in view of the fact that civil suit
has been filed there is no need to remand the matter to the Single Judge. The
question raised can be decided in the civil suit.
appeal was allowed.
the present appeal, the stand was that the Division Bench should not have
decided the Letters Patent Appeal. It was pointed out that the Division Bench
should not have interfered with the concurrent finding of the Single Judge
particularly, when the Letters Patent Appeal was not maintainable.
was also pointed out that the parameters of sub-section (6) of Section 8 of the
Act have not been kept in view. It was submitted further that a person can
invoke the writ jurisdiction when he cannot file the suit under sub-section (1)
of Section 8. It is submitted that since the writ petitioner was not a party
before the Registrar at the time of inquiry, it is not covered by Section 8.
is to be noted that in the writ petition filed by the present respondent no.1,
it was respondent no.3. All the grievances related to the order of Registrar of
Public Trust and SDO respondent No.2 in the file relating to the present
respondent no.1. The basic requirement of natural justice requires that they
should have been heard in the matter.
ultimate direction given by the Division Bench reads as follow:
considered the matter, we would hold that the single bench has committed an
error in not issuing notice before deciding the writ petition. Normally, in
such case the order is to be set aside and the matter should be remanded back
to a single bench for decision of the writ petition on its merit. But
considering the fact that against the order of registrar, Public Trusts, a
civil suit u/s 8 of the act has been filed by the respondent and the appellants
have also been a civil suit for declaration of the title of trust and
injunction, it will not be appropriate to remand the matter back to the Single
Bench. Questions of title of the respondent or competency of the settler to
create trust can be decided in the civil suits filed by the parties, before the
Civil Court. Therefore, questions involved in this case and objection to the
registration may be raised by the parties before the civil court where the
suits are pending. It is expected that the suits shall be decided at the
earliest by the trial court say within a period of one year from the date of
communication of this order. We further order that both the Civil Suits, viz.
Civil suit No. 12-A/2000 u/s 8 of the act, pending in the court of II Additional
District Judge, Gwalior and Civil Suit No. 30-A/99 pending in the Court of
Eleventh Civil Judge Class II Gwalior be consolidated and decided by a common
judgment by same court. Both the civil suits be transferred to the court of II
Additional District Judge, Gwalior or to some other court as the District
judge- Gwalior may deem fit for their decision on merit."
the aforesaid background without entering into the issue relating to
maintainability of the Letters Patent Appeal, we feel that the
directions/observations of the Division Bench allowing the appeal filed by the
respondents cannot be faulted. It is needless to say that the dispute in the
pending suit(s) shall be adjudicated in the manner directed by the Division
Bench. We find no merit in this appeal which is accordingly dismissed.
(Dr. ARIJIT PASAYAT)
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