Thursday, April 18, 2024

𝗝𝘂𝗱𝗶𝗰𝗶𝗮𝗹𝗗𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗺™

𝙰𝙵𝙵𝙾𝚁𝙳𝙰𝙱𝙻𝙴 & 𝙰𝙲𝙲𝙴𝚂𝚂𝙸𝙱𝙻𝙴

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PUBLIC TRUST

Write a short note on Suit relating to Public Trusts.


Section 92 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, deals with the provisions of suit relating to public trusts and it provides for filing a suit in respect of breach of trust created for public purposes of a charitable or religious nature. A suit under section 92 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, is of a special nature and the main aim of this section is to protect the public rights which are vested in public trusts and charities. According to this section, this suit is filed by some persons on behalf of all the persons interested in the trust. The beneficiaries choose two or more persons for filing the suit and they file the suit on behalf of all the beneficiaries.
In the leading case of R. Venugopala v. Venkatarayulu Naidu Chatities (SC 1989), the Hon’ble court stated that the persons who file the suit are shown as plaintiffs but the plaintiffs are merely representative of all the beneficiaries and the suit is filed on behalf of all the beneficiaries. Thus, the suit filed under section 92 is a kind of representative suit and a decision in such suit also attract the doctrine of Res judicata.
According to section 92 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, a suit under this section can be filed by an Advocate general or by two or more persons who have interest in the trust but such persons can file the suit only after getting the permission from the court. According to this section, such a suit can be filed in Principal Civil Court of Original Jurisdiction or in any other court which has been empowered by State Government to try such suits.
In the leading case of Bishwanath v. Thakur Radha Ballabhli (SC 1967), the Hon’ble court stated that the court must take an action under this section only if the following conditions are fulfilled: –

  1. That the trust has been created for public purpose of a charitable or religious nature.
  2. That there has been breach of trust or directions given by the court which are necessary for the administration of trust.
  3. That the plaintiffs have claimed the relief which is mentioned under section 92 of the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.
    According to the Hon’ble court, if any of the three conditions is not satisfied, then in such case, suit would fall outside the scope of this section.
    In the leading case of Vidyodaya Trust v. Mohan Prasad (SC 2008), the Hon’ble court held that the main object of this provision is to afford protection to public trusts of a charitable or religious nature from being subjected to harassment by suits being filed against them and to prevent multifarious and vexatious suits being filed by the irresponsible persons against the trustees whose duty is to administer such trusts.
    According to the provisions of Section 92 of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, it is a duty of court to serve a notice to defendant before granting leave to the plaintiffs for filing a suit under this section so that he may satisfy the court that permission should not be given to the plaintiff as his pleadings are false and frivolous or his main aim is to harass the trust and after hearing both the parties, it should be decided by the court that whether leave should be granted or not.
    But in the leading case of R.M. Narayana Chettiar v. N. Lakshmanan Chettiar (SC 1991), the Hon’ble court held that if the suit is filed without notice to the defendants, then also, it would not be bad and non- maintainable.
    According to the provisions of Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, if two or more persons file an application for getting leave to file a suit for breach of trust and the court refuses to grant the leave then in such a case, they have right to file an appeal against the order of refusal.

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