Case Comment

W. N. Allal Sundaram vs The Commissioner H.R. & C.E. Admn. Department & Ors

Appellant – W. N. Allal Sundaram

Respondent – The Commissioner H.R. & C.E. Admn. Department & Ors

Bench – Dr Dhananjaya Y Chandrachud, J


• The applicant’s case is that trust in the Sri Swamiya Dhamodara Perumal Temple is not a public trust. The Deputy Commissioner, the Department of Administration, and CE issued a notice stating that the Bagyammal Trust is a public fund. Opponents claimed that the site of the complaint was settled out of favor by Bagyammal and his predecessors under the Deed of Appeal about the area he held and enjoyed the property between 1928 and 1959.
• The applicant’s claim that the fund established by Bagyammal is an independent family fund that does not appeal to the provisions of the 1959 Act. The process was conducted under Section 63 (a) in the presence of the Deputy Commissioner, HR, and CE The Department of Management wants an announcement. On October 3, 1986, the Deputy Commissioner dismissed the proceedings. On 21 March 1990, an appeal against the order of the Deputy Commissioner was rejected by the first respondent. This resulted in the applicant filing a claim under section 70 (1). On October 27, 1995, the trial judge dismissed the case.
• In the appeal, one learned High Court Judge overturned the Court’s decision on 27 October 2006. The Letters Patent appeal was dismissed because it could not be complied with under Section 100 (A) of the Civil Procedure 1908. 6 Special Application for Leave was made before this Court under -Article 136 of the Constitution to challenge the decision of an unmarried Judge. Leave was granted on 4 May 2017.
• Section 63 provides that the Joint Commissioner or Deputy Commissioner shall have the power to inquire and determine disputes of the nature described in subsections (a) to (g). Among them, in subsection (d) whether certain 5 items have been replaced by Tamil Nadu Act 38 of 1995 6 Provided by Tamil Nadu Act 38 of 1995 5 endowments. Section 69 provides for an appeal to the Commission against the order of the Joint or Deputy Commissioner. Section 70 provides for the prosecution of a person who has been aggrieved by an order made by the Commissioner of Appeal and relating to any of the other matters set out in Section 63.
• The dispute in the present case involves the interpretation of the Deed of Resolution dated 4 June 1926. This document was written as Exhibit-A1. It was held to harvest Bagyammal by the ministers of Sree Agastheeswara Swamiya Devasthanam Temple. In 1921, the Trustees transferred the land in favor of Mangadu Ellappa Chettiar to build 7 hens to facilitate Devasthanam operations. Chickens have been found inadequate to meet the needs of devotees attending religious ceremonies. Therefore, given the need to build a temple and to facilitate the dedication of the volunteers, it was found that further construction was needed. The trustees agreed to transfer the property to Bagyammal.

Argument made by Appellant

The appellant instituted OS no 5916 of 1990 before the City Civil Court at Madras seeking two reliefs:

  • The setting aside of an order passed by the Commissioner, Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments1 Administration Department on 21 March 1990; and
  • A declaration that the Bagyammal Trust is not a „specific endowment‟ falling under the purview of the Tamil Nadu Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Act 1959 .

The appellant claimed that the plaint schedule property had been settled in favour of Bagyammal3 by her predecessors under a Deed of Settlement in pursuance of which she was in possession and enjoyment of the property between 1928 and 1959

Argument made by Respondent

The Deputy Commissioner, HR and CE Administration Department issued a notice stating that the Bagyammal Trust is a public trust.


The issue before the High Court was whether the above settlement constituted a specific endowment within the meaning of Section 6(19) of the Act of 1959.


  • The Supreme Court held that the songs on Exhibit-A1 showed that Bagyammal was given only a suit place to build an additional chicken to house the devotees of the Sree Agastheeswara Swamiyar Devasthanam Temple. The Deed of Settlement has indicated that the public will have the right to use poultry. Bagyammal was barred from creating any annoyance in the area.
  • The Supreme Court ruled that the offering was for a specific purpose: “Under Ex. A.1 there is a certain gift that the chickens to be produced by Pakkiyammal be donated for public use. ”
  • The term ‘religion for the poor’ is defined as the collective charity of a society that is associated with Hindu rituals or religious ceremonies, whether connected to a temple or a mathematical institution.
  • The appointed judge in the case was wrong in concluding that there was no “ special gift ” in terms of Section 13 6 (19). The Supreme Court was completely right in reversing the Court’s decision. As a result, there is no need to transfer the request. Complaint duly dismissed. There will be no order regarding costs.

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