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[Landmark Judgement] Sri Vedagiri Lakshmi Narasimha Swami Temple v. Induru Pattabhirami Reddi (1967)

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Landmark Judgment Law Insider (1)

Published on: 21 September, 2022 at 09:55 IST

Court – Supreme Court of India

Citation – Sri Vedagiri Lakshmi Narasimha Swami Temple v. Induru Pattabhirami Reddi AIR 1967 SC 781

Hon’ble Supreme Court of India has held that the courts shall have jurisdiction to try all suits of a civil nature under aegis of Section 9 of the Code of Civil Procedure 1908 excepting suits of which their cognizance is either expressly or impliedly barred.

Under Section 9 of the Code of Civil Procedure, the courts shall have jurisdiction to try all suits of a civil nature excepting suits of which their cognizance is either expressly or impliedly barred.

It is a well settled principle that a party seeking to oust the jurisdiction of an ordinary civil court shall establish the right to do so. Section 93 of the Act does not impose a total bar on the maintainability of a suit in a civil court. It states that a suit of the nature mentioned therein can be instituted only in conformity with the provisions of the Act; that is to say, a suit or other legal proceeding in respect of matters not covered by the section can be instituted in the ordinary way.

It therefore imposes certain statutory restrictions on suits or other legal proceedings relating to matters mentioned therein. Now, what are those matters? They are: (1) administration or management of religious institutions; and (2) any other matter or dispute for determining or deciding which provision is made in the Act.

The clause “determining or deciding which a provision is made in this Act”, on a reasonable construction, cannot be made to qualify “the administration or management” but must be confined only to any other matter or dispute. Even so, the expression “administration or management” cannot be construed widely so as to take in any matter however remotely connected with the administration or management.

The limitation on the said words is found in the phrase “except under and in conformity with the provision of this Act”. To state it differently, the said phrase does not impose a total bar on a suit in a civil court but only imposes a restriction on suits or other legal proceedings in respect of matters for which a provision is made in the Act.

Any other construction would lead to an incongruity, namely, there will be a vaccum in many areas not covered by the Act and the general remedies would be displaced without replacing them by new remedies.

Drafted- Abhijit Mishra

Key Words – Gross Negligence, Possession, Rendition of Account, Administration or Management