1. This is a second appeal under Section 104 of the Himachal Pradesh Abolition of Big Landed Estates and Land Reforms Act, 1953 (hereinafter to be referred as the Abolition Act), and has been directed against the decision dated 10th October 1969 of the District Judge. Mahasu.
2. Dhumi who has since died and whose legal representatives are Negi and six others, respondents in this Court, applied to the Compensation Officer under Section 11 (1) of the Abolition Act for acquisition on payment of compensation, the right, title and interest of the land-owner whom they described as "Shri Mandir Shivji Maharaj Darla through next friends Jagat Ram, Jagar Nath, Masat Ram, Dittu and Amar Chand Tehsil Arki, Mahasu District."
The dispute related to 11-16 bighas area of 25 plots specified in the petition and situate in village Darla of the Tehsil of Arki. The petition was contested by the appellant-landowner
the petitioners were not the tenants, that the land itself could not be defined so as to attract the provision of Section 11 of the Abolition Act, that the
temple as such could not be proceeded against because it is not a juridical person; and that the idol being in the position of a minor had no other means of livelihood.
The learned Compensation Officer decided all these points in favour of the petitioners and granted the application. However, he removed from the ambit of his order the 'abadi' area of the disputed land over which the temple itself and other buildings appurtenant thereto had existed. The landowner came in appeal before the District Judge, but confined its contentions to only two points, namely, that the temple land-owner is not a juridical person and that the idol is in the position of a minor and had no other means of livelihood and as such the case falls within exemption provided in Clause (2) of Section 11 of the Abolition Act. The District Judge repelled these two contentions and granted the application.
4. As described above, the landowner is "Shri Mandir Shivji Maharaj Darla" and it is apparent the idol of Lord Shiva is incorporated in the title specified in the application.In
established authority, founded upon the religious customs of the Hindus, and the recognition thereof by Courts of Law, a "Juristic entity". It has a judicial status with the power of suing and being sued. Its interests are
attended to by the person who has the Deity in his charge and who is in law its manager with all the powers which would, in such circumstances, on analogy, be given to the manager of the estate of an infant heir."
person but an idol installed in the temple is a juridical person. It is, therefore, well settled that an idol is a juridical person and is in the position of a minor or an infant heir, whose interests are looked after by its manager. In the case of alienation of endowed property, it was observed by Supreme Court in AIR 1967 SC 1044,
"When such an alienation has been effected by the Shebait acting adversely to the interests of the idol, even a worshipper can file the suit, the reason being that the idol is in the position of a minor and when the person representing, it leaves it in a lurch, a person interested in the worship of the idol can certainly
Therefore, it could be stated in the instant case that Lord Shiva whose idol is installed in the temple is a juridical person and as such could be proceeded against in the petition under Section 11 of the Abolition Act. Similarly
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