ASHOK KUMAR GUPTA Vs M/S SITALAXMI SAHUWALA MEDICAL TRUST
Bench: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE UDAY UMESH LALIT, HON'BLE MS. JUSTICE INDU MALHOTRA, HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE HEMANT GUPTA
Judgment by: HON'BLE MR. JUSTICE UDAY UMESH LALIT
Case number: C.A. No.-001917-001917 / 2020
Diary number: 27535 / 2019
Advocates: RUCHI KOHLI Vs
Civil Appeal No. 1917 Of 2020 (arising out of SLP(C)No.21306 of 2019) Ashok Kumar Gupta & Anr. v. M/s Sitalaxmi Sahuwala Medical Trust and others
IN THE SUPREME COURT OF INDIA
CIVIL APPELLATE JURISDICTION
CIVIL APPEAL NO.1917 OF 2020 (Arising out of Special Leave Petition (Civil)No.21306 of 2019)
ASHOK KUMAR GUPTA & ANR. …Appellants
M/S SITALAXMI SAHUWALA MEDICAL TRUST AND OTHERS …Respondents
J U D G M E N T
Uday Umesh Lalit, J.
1. Leave granted.
2. This appeal challenges the final judgment and order dated
30.04.2019 passed by the High Court of Judicature at Madras in C.R.P.
(PD) No.2708 of 2013.
3. Original Suit No.566 of 2012 was filed by the present appellants in
the Court of the District Judge, Coimbatore stating basic facts as under:-
“III. The 2nd plaintiff is the wife of the 1st
plaintiff. The 1st plaintiff is the elder son of defendants 2 & 3. The 4th defendant is the younger
Civil Appeal No. 1917 Of 2020 (arising out of SLP(C)No.21306 of 2019) Ashok Kumar Gupta & Anr. v. M/s Sitalaxmi Sahuwala Medical Trust and others
son of defendants 2 & 3 and the 5th defendant is his wife. The 6th defendant is the daughter of defendants 4 & 5. The 7th defendant is son in law of the family and he has married the sister of 1st plaintiff and the 4th
defendant. The plaintiffs are Trustees of the 1st
defendant Trust and are persons having interest in the affairs of the Trust and are filing the present suit for framing a scheme for the administration of the 1st
defendant Trust, which is a Public Charitable Trust.
IV) The 2nd defendant settled down in Coimbatore in 1959 and he was managing the firm called M/s India Roller Flour Mills. The 1st plaintiff was academically a good student and he secured admission on merit in medical college and he graduated from Coimbatore Medical College completing MBBS. He pursued his studies further in post-graduation and completed his M.S. from Madras Medical College, Chennai, and is thus a qualified surgeon who has graduated from the Madras University.
V) Taking note of his future and his carrier as a Doctor, the 2nd defendant decided to construct a hospital, so as to enable the 1st plaintiff to carry on his profession. However, the hospital was envisaged as a charitable hospital. The 2nd defendant as author of the trust established the 1st defendant Trust, M/s Sitalaxmi Sahuwala Medical Trust, under registered Trust Deed dated 09.04.1980. A copy of Deed of Trust is produced herewith and the original is with the 2nd
defendant as also the rest of the documents.
VI) The objects of the Trust are set out in Clause I which briefly are to establish, maintain and render financial assistance and donations by establishing and assisting running of a hospitals, surgical homes; health trainings, nursing homes, maternity homes and dispensaries and to equip the hospitals and provide accessories and instruments etc.
VII) The plaintiff respectfully states that the 1st defendant Trust was established with the aim and object of providing medical aid to the needy
Civil Appeal No. 1917 Of 2020 (arising out of SLP(C)No.21306 of 2019) Ashok Kumar Gupta & Anr. v. M/s Sitalaxmi Sahuwala Medical Trust and others
citizens. This was contemplated taking note of the fact that the 1st plaintiff who became a qualified medical practitioner would look after the institution and administer the hospital where a part of the hospital can be run for charity and the 1st plaintiff can have his consultations and in patients admitted to serve the people in society.
VIII) It is significant that the four trustees appointed under the Deed of Trust are both the plaintiffs and defendants 2 & 3 and they have been appointed for life. The 2nd defendant is the Managing Trustee and the 1st plaintiff was appointed as the Joint Managing Trustee, vide Clause 10.
IX) There was an amendment to the Trust Deed dated 09.04.1980 by another deed dated 23.03.1981. In addition to the objects, further objects for providing free education and conducting orphanages and help poor people perform marriages were introduced to the objects. But nothing of these additional charities were ever performed.
X) By another deed dated 15.03.1985, further objects were introduced to the Deed of Trust which have no relevance to the original objects. There was also an amendment to the Trust Deed by a registered deed dated 24.11.1986 providing for borrowing powers.
XI) The Trust purchased land measuring 33 Cents in Cowly Brown Road by a sale deed dated 08.04.1985 and a hospital was constructed and it was established by the 1st defendant trust in 1987-88. The 1st plaintiff was looking after administration of this hospital till the year 2003-04. The subsequent turn of events during the past one decade are narrated herein below……..”.
4. The events after 2003-04 were then adverted to, and it was
elaborated that the 4th defendant – brother of appellant No.1 who did not
have any medical qualification or any expertise to run the hospital and
manage the Trust had been in control of the Trust and the objects of the
Trust were not getting fulfilled; and that the appellants were sought to be
removed from the board of trustees. Finally, it was stated:-
“XXI. The plaintiffs submit that time has come for this Honorable Court to interfere with the affairs of the 1st defendant Trust and to frame a proper scheme for administration of the Trust through competent men, so that the objects of the Trust are implemented. The defendants are converting the public charitable trust into a private family trust with rubber stamp trustees so as to enable them to make a living out of the trust properties and income from the Trust. The defendants are guilty of ignoring the objects of the Trust and in misappropriating the income earned by the Trust by suppressing its real income by converting the hospital into a business venture. A scheme requires to be framed for the following reasons:
1. The administration of the Trust should be in proper hands and the hospital should be administered by competent qualified Doctors.
2. No charity is performed by the 1st defendant Trust and records are created and fabricated for the said purpose for the past 5 years. No free medical aid is provided and allowed to be provided. Only the 1st plaintiff gives free consultation to patients.
3. No regular meeting of the Trust are conducted and no procedures are followed for proper conduct of meetings. No resolutions are passed and minutes are not recorded.
4. The real income derived by the Trust is not accounted and this is siphoned off for the personal use by Defendants 2 to 5. Cash collected is not
deposited immediately on the following day but used by the 4th defendant.
5. Trustees are appointed and removed according to the whims of defendants 2 & 4 and no democratic system is followed.
6. Complaints are frequently emerging from Doctors and Patients that the 4th defendant is demanding and receiving kickback of various amounts involved and the 1st plaintiff has been informed to watch out the activities of the 4th defendant and to direct him to mend his ways, to preserve the reputation of hospital.
7. The defendants do not come and supervise the hospital on a day to day basis. The 1st plaintiff is prevented from taking part in the administration and management of the hospital. Proper accounts are not maintained.
8. The defendants are thus guilty of mismanagement, misappropriation and they are guilty of committing breach of Trust and they are not fit to hold office. The 8th defendant is the Banker for the 1st defendant Trust and the 1st defendant is operating its accounts with the 8th defendant. The 8th defendant is thus a proper party as the operation of account and withdrawals can be.”
5. In the circumstances, the appellants prayed for following reliefs in
“a) By framing a proper scheme of administration for 1st Defendant Trust namely M/s Sitalaxmi Sahuwala Medical Trust by removing the defendants 2 to 6 and appointing fresh trustees including the 1st plaintiff and other trustees from the medical profession and from the public for proper and effective administration of the 1st defendant Trust by vesting the properties
of the 1st defendant trust with the new trustees to be appointed.
b) Declaring that the appointment of the 6th
defendant as trustee is void and illegal and for consequential permanent injunction to restrain the 6th defendant from functioning as a Trustee of the 1st defendant trust.
c) For declaration that the procedure adopted to remove the plaintiffs from the Trust Board is void, illegal and mala fide and for consequential permanent injunction restraining the defendants 2 to 6 from removing the Plaintiffs from the Trust Board or reconstructing the Trust Board without leave of the Court.
d) For permanent injunction restraining Defendants from appointing the 7th defendant as a Trustee and to restrain the 7th defendant from acting as Trustees of the 1st defendant Trust.
e) Directing the accounts of the 1st defendant Trust to be audited by an independent Chartered Accountant and to surcharge defendants 2 & 4 to pay up to the 1st defendant Trust any amount that may be found due from them to the Trust.
f) Appoint a Receiver to take charge of the assets of the 1st Defendant Trust and administer the same and entrust them to the Trustees appointed as per Scheme.
g) Award cost of the suit to the plaintiff.
h) Grant such other and further relieves as this Honourable Court may deem fit and proper in the facts and circumstances of the case.”
6. Along with the aforesaid Suit, IA No.1416 of 2012 was filed
by the appellants seeking leave to institute the Suit under Section 92
of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908 (‘the Code’, for short). By order
dated 31.07.2012, the District Judge, Coimbatore granted leave under
Section 92 of the Code. Soon thereafter Respondent No.2 herein filed
IA No.1435 of 2012 seeking revocation of leave granted to the
appellants vide aforesaid order dated 31.07.2012. It was stated, inter
alia, that neither the application nor an affidavit in support of the
application disclosed any proper reason for grant of such leave. The
matter was contested. The District Court vide order dated 27.11.2012
held that the appellants had made out a prima facie case and there was
no necessity to revoke the leave already granted. The District Court,
thus, dismissed IA No.1435 of 2012 holding inter alia:
“18. In Para 18 of the plaint there is an allegation that the 4 defendant runs the hospital of the trust to earn his livelihood and siphoning off the income for his personal use. There was allegation to the effect that no meeting of trustees has been held for the past many years.
The defendants are not competent and qualified to administer the hospital. In para 9 it was alleged that the 6th defendant was inducted as a trustee in violation of the provisions contained in the trust deed. No annual meeting was held for passing accounts and for appointment of auditor.
… … …
20. … In the case at hand, admittedly the 1st plaintiff is a doctor. His qualification is Master of Surgery. 2nd
plaintiff is his wife. They are first trustees of the trust. It can be safely held that they are having interest in the trust. Therefore it cannot be said that the suit has
been filed by irresponsible persons. Admittedly the trust was created for public purposes. It has been brought to the notice of the Court that the objects of the original trust have been amended without any authority. The validity of the amendment can be gone into after trial. Likewise the amendment with regard to appointment of trustees can also be decided after conclusion of trial. In “V.Rajasekaran vs. M. Rajendran”1 it has been held that:
“Unless a strong case is made out, ordinarily the Court should grant leave so that the question can be considered in depth after evidence is recorded.”
… … …
21. It is well settled that public charity is perpetual and the Court is the guardian of a charity. Having regard to the whole facts and circumstances of the case, I hold that the plaintiffs have made out a prima- facie case. Therefore, the leave granted by this Court to institute the suit cannot be revoked. The point is answered accordingly.”
7. The respondents challenged the aforesaid decision of the
District Court by filing Civil Revision being C.R.P. (PD) No.2708 of
2013 before the High Court. Soon thereafter another suit being OS
No.1415 of 2013 was filed by the appellants along with their two sons
seeking a decree for declaration that the amendment made under the
Supplemental Deed of Trust dated 10.08.2012 be declared void and
illegal. We are not presently concerned with said OS No.1415 of
1 (2007) I MLJ 683
8. The aforesaid Civil Revision was allowed by the High Court
vide its judgment and order dated 30.04.2019 accepting the
submission that the suit as framed was essentially to vindicate the
private rights of the appellants and that the leave under Section 92 of
the Code could not have been granted. It was observed by the High
Court as under:
“22. From the above judgments, it is well settled that the main purpose of provision under Section 92 of CPC is to give a protection to public trust or charitable or religious nature, from being subjected to harassment by suits being filed against them and the Courts also to see that there is a prima facie case either breach of trust or of necessity of obtaining direction from the Court on the basis of allegation made in the plaint. If the allegation of breach of trust is not substantiated and the very foundation of the suit is based on the private rights, leave cannot be granted under Section 92 CPC. Similarly, Court can also go beyond the relief and have regard to the capacity in which the plaintiff has sued on the purpose which the suit was brought. Mere colour of legitimacy was sought to be given by projecting as if the suit was vindicating the public rights, leave cannot be granted. From the judgments of the Apex Court only the allegation in the plaint that should be looked into at the first instance whether the suit fall within the ambit of Section 92.
23. In the light of the above settled position now it has to be seen whether the suit has been filed to vindicate the public right or private right. No doubt the Trust is charitable trust. Only the allegations in the plaint to be looked into find out as to whether the suit is for vindicating the private rights or public right. On entire perusal of the plaint para 5 of the plaint, it is the
contention of the plaintiff that the 2nd defendant has decided to construct a hospital so as to enable the 1st plaintiff to carry on his profession. However, the hospital was envisaged as a Charitable hospital. In para 7 of the plaint it is the contention of the plaintiff that the 1st Plaintiff can have his consultations and in patients admitted to serve the people in society. The plaintiff was looking after the administration of the hospital till the year 2003 and 2004. In para 11 and 12 it is pleaded how the 4th defendant was inducted into the Trust and in para 13 it is pleaded as if 4th defendant slowly started to usurp powers and become a Joint Managing Trustee, though the plaintiff was looking after the administration of the hospital till the year 2003-2004. It is further alleged in para 13 that the 4th defendant has not allowed the defendant 2 and 3 to take independent decision. In para 14 it is stated that the 4th defendant is receiving part of the rent by cash and using it for his expenses. In para 15 of the plaint it is the contention of the plaintiff that 4th
defendant has been looking after the affairs of the hospital which was intended for medical practice of the first plaintiff. In fact, this allegation is contrary to earlier pleadings that he was managing the hospital in 2003-2004. The entire pleadings clearly indicate that the defendants have inducted the 3rd defendant’s daughter and wife and there was also an agenda circulated by communication dated 23.07.2012 for the meeting proposed to be held on 09.08.2012.”
9. In this appeal challenging the view taken by the High Court,
we heard Mr. K.V. Vishwanathan, learned Senior Advocate for the
appellants and Mr. Guru Krishna Kumar, learned Senior Advocate for
10. The basic issue involved in the matter is whether the
appellants were rightly granted leave under Section 92 of the Code by
the Trial Court. We may at the outset quote relevant provisions of
Section 92, which are to the following effect:-
“92. Public Charities.–(1) In the case of any alleged breach of any express or constructive trust created for public purposes of a charitable or religious nature, or where the direction of the Court is deemed necessary for the administration of any such trust, the Advocate- General, or two or more persons having an interest in the trust and having obtained the leave of the Court may institute a suit, whether contentious or not, in the principal Civil Court of original jurisdiction or in any other Court empowered in that behalf by the State Government within the local limits of whose jurisdiction the whole or any part of the subject-matter of the trust is situate to obtain a decree–
(a) removing any trustees; (b) appointing a new trustee; (c) vesting any property in a trustee; (cc) directing a trustee who has been removed or
a person who has ceased to be a trustee, to deliver possession of any trust property in his possession to the person entitled to the possession of such property;
(d) directing accounts and inquiries; (e) declaring what proportion of the trust
property or of the interest therein shall be allocated to any particular object of the trust;
(f) authorizing the whole or any part of the trust property to be let, sold, mortgaged or exchanged;
(g) settling a scheme; or (h) granting such further or other relief as the
nature of the case may require.
(2) Save as provided by the Religious Endowments Act, 1863 (20 of 1863), or by any corresponding law in
force in the territories which, immediately before the 1st
November, 1956, were comprised in Part B States, no suit claiming any of the reliefs specified in sub-section (1) shall be instituted in respect of any such trust as is therein referred to except in conformity with the provisions of that sub-section.
11. While considering the scope of Section 92 (1), as it existed
then, a Constitution Bench of this Court observed in Chairman
Madappa vs. M.N. Mahanthadevaru and Others2, as under:-
“… Section 92(1) provides for two class of cases, namely, (i) where there is a breach of trust in a trust created for public purposes of a charitable or religious nature, and (ii) where the direction of the court is deemed necessary for the administration of any such trust. The main purpose of Section 92(1) is to give protection to public trusts of a charitable or religious nature from being subjected to harassment by suits being filed against them. That is why it provides that suits under that section can only be filed either by the Advocate General, or two or more persons having an interest in the trust with the consent in writing of the Advocate General. The object clearly is that before the Advocate General files a suit or gives his consent for filing a suit under Section 92, he would satisfy himself that there is a prima facie case either of the each of trust or of the necessity for obtaining directions of the court. The reliefs to be sought in a suit under Section 92(1) are indicated in that section and include removal of any trustee, appointment of a new trustee, vesting of any property in a trustee, directing a removed trustee or person who has ceased to be a trustee to deliver possession of trust property in his possession to the person entitled to the possession of such property, directing accounts and enquiries, declaring what proportion of the trust-
2 (1966) 2 SCR 151
property or of the interest therein shall be allocated to any particular object of the trust, authorisation of the whole or any part of the trust-property to be let, sold, mortgaged or exchanged, or settlement of a scheme. The nature of these reliefs will show that a suit under Section 92 may be filed when there is a breach of trust or when the administration of the trust generally requires improvement. … …”
12. The statement of law so laid down was reiterated:-
A) In Bishwanath and anr. vs. Shri Thakur Radhaballabhji &
“It is settled law that to invoke Section 92 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 3 conditions have to be satisfied, namely, (i) the trust is created for public purposes of a charitable or religious nature; (ii) there was a breach of trust or a direction of court is necessary in the administration of such a trust; and (iii) the relief claimed is one or other of the reliefs enumerated therein. If any of the 3 conditions is not satisfied, the suit falls outside the scope of the said section. … …”
B) In Sugra Bibi vs. Hazi Kummu Mia4
“It is evident that this section has no application unless three conditions are fulfilled: (1) the suit must relate to a public charitable or religious trust, (2) the suit must be founded on an allegation of breach of trust or the direction of the Court is required for administration of the trust, and (3) the reliefs claimed are those which are mentioned in the section.”
3 (1967) 2 SCR 618 4 (1969) 3 SCR 83
13. Three conditions are therefore, required to be satisfied in order to
invoke Section 92 of the Code and to maintain an action under said
Section, namely, that
(i) the Trust in question is created for public purposes of a
charitable or religious nature;
(ii) there is a breach of trust or a direction of Court is necessary
in the administration of such a Trust; and
(iii) the relief claimed is one or other of the reliefs as
enumerated in said Section.
Consequently, if any of these three conditions is not satisfied, the
matter would be outside the scope of said Section 92.
14. In the instant case, it is admitted that the concerned Trust is
created for public purposes of charitable nature. The matter on that front is
beyond any doubt. As regards the second condition, paragraph 21 of the
plaint makes out a case that a public charitable trust was being run as a
private family trust; that the object of the Trust was being ignored; and
that there was necessity to frame a proper scheme for administration of
the Trust through competent persons. The second condition also stands
Insofar as the third condition is concerned, the reliefs prayed for are
diverse which include inter alia framing of a proper scheme of
administration, for removing certain trustees and appointment of fresh
trustees from medical profession and from public and for other ancillary
reliefs. It is true that the reliefs prayed for include a relief where the first
plaintiff is also being sought to be included as one of the trustees along
with other trustees from medical profession and from public, for proper
and effective administration of the Trust. A question, therefore arises
whether such relief along with other averments in the plaint would take
the matter out of the scope of the Section 92 of the Code or not.
15. In Sugra Bibi4, the Wakf was created substantially for a public
purpose and the reliefs prayed for in the suit inter alia, were i) for removal
of the defendant from the office of Mutwalli and for appointment of the
son of the plaintiff in his place and ii) for appointment of a receiver till
said son attained majority. While considering the facts where the creation
of Wakf was substantially for a public purpose, this Court observed:-
“… … The proper test for holding whether the Wakf would fall within the purview of Section 92, Civil Procedure Code is to examine whether the Wakf has been created substantially for a public purpose. Applying the test to the present case, we are of opinion that the Wakf created by Haji Elahi Bux on November 18, 1936 falls within the purview of Section 92, Civil Procedure Code. This view is borne
out by the decision of the Calcutta High Court in S. Massirat Hossain v. Hossain Ahmad Chowdhury5. That case related to a Wakf estate, the net annual income of which was about Rs 1300 and out of this a sum of Rs 353 was set apart for public purposes of a charitable or religious nature. It was held by the learned Judges that the amount by no means was a trifling or a disproportionate provision in favour of the public and consequently the suit was maintainable under Section 92 of the Civil Procedure Code. Reliance was placed by the High Court in support of its decision upon the pronouncement of the Judicial Committee in Vaidya Nath Aiyyar v. Swaminatha Ayyar6 where the founder of the trust directed by his will that two-thirds of the income of his property would go to his wife and the remaining one-third would go first towards the discharge of certain debts and thereafter to establish a Chatram for the feeding of the poor. There was a further provision that after the wife’s death, two-thirds of the income given to her would be applied to charity and one-third to the members of the family. On these facts the Judicial Committee agreed with the findings of the court below that the Chatram so established was a public trust.”
In the context of the relief prayed for, the submission that “the Suit
was brought not to vindicate or to establish a right of the public institution
i.e., the trust, but to remedy an infringement of an individual right or to
vindicate the private right of the appellant”, was considered as under:-
“… …The reliefs prayed for are: ( 1 ) removal of the respondent from the office of Mutwalli and appointment of Soleman, appellant’s son, as Mutwalli in his place, and ( 2 ) till the said Soleman attains majority appointment of a Receiver for the
5 1897 SCC OnLine Cal 42 : (1896-97) 1 CWN 345 6 (1923-24) 51 I.A. 282
management of the Wakf estate. It is true that the facts that a suit relates to public trust of a religious or charitable nature and the reliefs claimed fall within clauses (a) to (h) of sub-section (1) of Section 92 Civil Procedure Code would not by themselves attract the operation of the section, unless the suit is of a representative character instituted in the interests of the public and not merely for vindication of the individual or personal rights of the plaintiff. As was stated by Woodroffe, J. in Budreedas v. Choonilal7:
“It is obvious that the Advocate-General, Collector or other public officer can and do sue only as representing the public, and if, instead of these officers, two or more persons having an interest in the trust sue with their consent, they sue under a warrant to represent the public as the objects of the trust. It follows from this, that when a person or persons sue not to establish the general rights of the public, of which they are a member or members, but to remedy a particular infringement of their own individual right, the suit is not within or need not be brought under the section.”
This principle was accepted as sound by a Full Bench of the Madras High Court in Appanna v. Narasigna8. In that case, a suit was instituted by a trustee of a public religious trust against a co-trustee for accounts and the Full Bench decided that it did not come within Section 92 of the Civil Procedure Code, the claim being to enforce a purely personal right of the plaintiff as a trustee against his co-trustees. The same view was taken by the Madras High Court in The Tirumalai-Tirupati Devasthanams Committee v. Udiayar Krishnayya Shanbhagal9. In this case the general trustees of a public temple filed a suit against the trustees for the recovery of moneys which the latter had collected on behalf of the former praying for a decree directing accounts and inquiries. It was
7 I.L.R. 33 Cal. 789 8 I.L.R. 45 Mad. 113 9 I.L.R.  Mad. 619
held that the right to collect moneys was entirely independent of Section 92 of the Civil Procedure Code and no sanction of the Advocate-General was necessary for the institution of the suit. Leach, C.J. who delivered the judgment of the Court observed as follows:
“After hearing the arguments of learned Counsel in the present case we can see no reason for disagreeing with anything said in Shanmukham Chetty v. Govinda Chetty10. On the other hand we find ourselves in full agreement with the opinion of Varadachariar, J. that, in deciding whether a suit falls within Section 92, the Court must go beyond the reliefs and have regard to the capacity in which the plaintiffs are suing and to the purpose for which the suit is brought. The judgment of the Privy Council in Abdur Rahim v. Mahomed Barkat Ali11
lends no support for the opinion expressed by the Full Bench in Janki Bai v. Thiruchitrambala Vinayakar12”.
Applying the principle laid down in these authorities, we are of opinion that in the present case the suit brought by the appellant must be treated as a suit brought by her in a representative capacity on behalf of all the beneficiaries of the Wakf. As we have already stated, the Wakf created by Haji Elahi Bux was a Wakf created for a public purpose of charitable or religious nature. The reliefs claimed by the appellant in the suit are not reliefs for enforcing any private rights but reliefs for the removal of the defendant as trustee and for appointment of a new trustee in his place. The reliefs asked for by the appellant fall within clauses (a) and (b) of Section 92(1) of the Civil Procedure Code and these reliefs claimed by the appellant indicate that the suit was brought by the appellant not in an individual capacity
10 I.L.R. 1938 Mad. 39 11 (1927) I.L.R. 55 Cal. 519 (P.C.) 12 (1935) I.L.R. 58 Mad. 988 (F.B.)
but as representing all the beneficiaries of the Wakf estate. … …”
16. Thus, though the reliefs prayed for removal of the defendant from
the office of Mutwalli, for appointment of the son of the plaintiff and for
appointment of receiver, in Sugra Bibi4, this Court found that the suit was
brought by the plaintiff in representative capacity.
In the present matter, the appellant No.1-first plaintiff, as a
qualified medical professional, was associated with the Trust and what is
being complained is that the appellants have been removed from the
board of trustees and none of the present trustees are from medical
profession. It is in that context that the principal relief prays for framing
of a proper scheme of administration and for appointing trustees from
medical profession and from the public for proper and effective
administration of the Trust. The expression “including the first plaintiff”
has to be understood in the context that the first plaintiff, as a qualified
medical professional, was associated with the Trust right since the
inception but now stands removed. The relief prayed for cannot be said
to be in the nature of vindicating personal rights of the first plaintiff.
What was prayed was for framing of a proper scheme of administration
so that the Trust which was founded with the object of making available
medical and related services to the general public could attain and
achieve all its objectives through trustees who are themselves well
qualified to undertake such responsibility.
17. Viewed thus, the conclusion arrived at by the Trial Court in para
21 as quoted hereinabove, was quite correct and the matter did not call for
any interference by the High Court. It is true that certain paras of the
plaint do indicate the grievances that the appellant were completely side-
lined while the control of the Trust was in the hands of the concerned
defendants. The allegations highlight that the Trust was not being
managed properly, was not being managed by medical professionals and
there was siphoning of funds. However, the substance of the matter
discernible from para 21 as well as the principal relief claimed in the suit
is quite clear that what was being agitated were the public rights. If in
respect of a trust which had set up a hospital, a request was made for
framing of a proper scope of administration by appointing trustee from
medical profession and from public for proper and effective
administration of the Trust, the matter would definitely fall within the
scope of Section 92 of the Code.
18. In the circumstances, we allow this appeal, set aside the view
taken by the High Court and restore the decision arrived at by the District
Court. The appeal stands allowed without any order as to costs.
……………………….J. [Uday Umesh Lalit]
……………………….J. [Vineet Saran]
New Delhi; March 03, 2020.