Shri Vitthal Devasthan Trust Committee … vs Sri Gururaj S/O Hucharao Kulkarni on 16 February, 2024

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Karnataka High Court

Shri Vitthal Devasthan Trust Committee … vs Sri Gururaj S/O Hucharao Kulkarni on 16 February, 2024

Author: S G Pandit

Bench: S G Pandit

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                                                                     NC: 2024:KHC-D:3751-DB
                                                                              WA No. 100029 of 2024




                                       IN THE HIGH COURT OF KARNATAKA, DHARWAD BENCH

                                             DATED THIS THE 16TH DAY OF FEBRUARY, 2024

                                                                PRESENT
                                                THE HON'BLE MR JUSTICE S G PANDIT
                                                                   AND
                                                THE HON'BLE MR JUSTICE K V ARAVIND
                                             WRIT APPEAL NO. 100029 OF 2024 (GM-R/C)

                                      BETWEEN:

                                      1.   SHRI. VITTHAL DEVASTHAN TRUST
                                           COMMITTEE, KITTUR,
                                           TQ: KITTUR, DIST: BELAGAVI-591115,
                                           REPRESENTED BY ITS CHAIRMAN.

                                      2.   SRI. VITHAL GOPALRAO PAGAD,
                                           AGE: 56 YEARS, OCC: AGRICULTURE,
                                           R/O. NO.943, GURUWAR PETE,
                                           TQ: KITTUR, DIST: BELAGAVI-591115.
                                                                                        ...APPELLANTS
                                      (BY SRI. ANOOP G. DESHPANDE, ADVOCATE)

                                      AND:

                                      1.   SRI. GURURAJ S/O. HUCHRAO KULKARNI,
                                           AGE: 68 YEARS, OCC: AGRICULTURE,
                                           R/O. 1064, GURUWAR PETE,
                Digitally signed by
                CHANDRASHEKAR
CHANDRASHEKAR   LAXMAN
LAXMAN          KATTIMANI
KATTIMANI
                Date: 2024.02.16
                17:11:34 +0530
                                           TQ. KITTUR, DIST: BELAGAVI-591115.

                                      2.   SRI. SHREERANGA S/O. BABURAV INAMDAR,
                                           AGE: 64 YEARS, OCC. AGRICULTURE,
                                           R/O. #1021, GADDI ONI, GURUWAR PETE,
                                           TQ: KITTUR, DIST: BELAGAVI 591115.

                                      3.   SRI. HANUMATH S/O. TAMMAJI KOTABAGI,
                                           AGE: 54 YEARS, OCC: AGRICULTURE,
                                           R/O. GADDI ONI, GURUWAR PETE,
                                           TQ: KITTUR, DIST: BELAGAVI 591115.

                                      4.   SRI. RAJENDRA KRISHNAJI NAGAR,
                                           AGE: 67 YEARS, OCC. AGRICULTURE,
                                           R/O. #307, PRATIMA APARTMENT,
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                                     WA No. 100029 of 2024




     3RD FLOOR, KABBUR ROAD, MALAMADDI,
     TQ AND DIST: DHARWAD 580007.

5.   SRI. VIKRAM MADHWABHATTA GADAGI,
     AGE: 44 YEARS, OCC: AGRICULTURE,
     R/O. #1048, GURUWAR PETE,
     GADDI ONI, TQ: KITTUR,
     DIST: BELAGAVI-591115.

6.   THE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER,
     OFFICE OF THE DEPUTY COMMISSIONER,
     D. C. COMPOUND,
     TQ AND DIST: BELAGAVI-590001.

7.   THE TAHASHILDAR,
     OFFICE OF TAHASILDAR,
     GURUWAR PETE, TQ: KITTUR,
     DIST: BELAGAVI 591115.

8.   SRI. KRISHNAJI TAMMAJI KOTABAGI,
     AGE: MAJOR, OCC: CHAIRMAN NAMED IN
     PRT SHEET OF RESPONDENT NO.4 TRUST,
     R/O. GURUWAR PETE,
     TQ. KITTUR, DIST: BELAGAVI 591115.

9.   THE STATE OF KARNATAKA,
     THROUGH DEPARTMENT OF HINDU
     RELIGIOUS AND CHARITABLE ENDOWMENTS,
     REPRESENTED BY ITS COMMISSIONER,
     2ND AND 3RD FLOOR,
     MAHADESHWARA VARTHA BHAVAN,
     VENKATRAO ROAD, CHAMRAJPET,
     BENGALURU-560001.
                                             ...RESPONDENTS
(BY SRI. K. L. PATIL, ADV. FOR R1 TO R5,
    SRI. G. K. HIREGOUDAR, GOVT. ADVOCATE FOR R6, R7 AND R9,
    SRI. ROHIT PATIL, ADV. FOR R8)

     THIS WRIT APPEAL IS FILED U/S.4 OF KARNATAKA HIGH
COURT ACT, 1961, PRAYING TO SET ASIDE THE INTERIM ORDER
DATED     09.01.2024   AND     02.02.2024   PASSED    IN
W.P.NO.100053/2024 IN THE INTEREST OF JUSTICE AND EQUITY
AND ETC.

      THIS APPEAL, COMING ON FOR PRELIMINARY EARING, THIS
DAY, S G PANDIT, J., DELIVERED THE FOLLOWING:
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                              NC: 2024:KHC-D:3751-DB
                                    WA No. 100029 of 2024




                       JUDGMENT

Head learned counsel Shri. Anoop G Deshpande for

appellants, learned counsel Shri. K.L. Patil for respondent

Nos.1 to 5. Learned Government advocate for respondent

Nos.6, 7 and 9. Learned counsel Shri. Rohit Patil appeared

through video conference and accepts notice on behalf of

respondent No.8. Perused the writ appeal papers.

2. This intra Court appeal is directed against

interim order dated 09.01.2024 and 02.02.2024 passed in

W.P.No.100053/2024, wherein learned Single Judge

directed respondent No.3 to conduct Jatra and to file

statement of accounts as regards the amount collected by

16.01.2024 and the amount collected to be deposited in

an interest bearing fixed deposit with a Nationalized Bank

operating in and around the premises of respondent No.4.

The said Bank account not to be operated by anybody else

apart from respondent No.3.

3. Further by order dated 02.02.2024 taking note

of the submission of petitioner and respondent Nos.4 and
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WA No. 100029 of 2024

6 that Jatra is to be held from 24.02.2024 to 26.02.2024,

observed that the order dated 09.01.2024 would continue

to apply to the said Jatra irrespective of date on which it is

to be conducted.

4. Further on hearing, all the learned counsels

appearing for the parties on 15.02.2024, learned Single

Judge passed the following order:

“……………………………………………………….
……………………………………. ………………….

6. Submission of Sri. K. L. Patil, learned
counsel for the petitioner is that, the trustees
whose names are found in the PTR extracts
are required to be permitted to conduct the
jatra, while the submission Sri. Anup
Deshpande is that, the Managing Committee,
which has conducted jatra on earlier occasion
should be permitted to conduct the under the
supervision of the Tahashildar. 7. I am of the
considered opinion that the said aspect of who
has to assist the Tahashildar should be left to
the discretion of the Tahasildar, who can
choose the persons, from the group of
petitioners as also from the group of
respondent No.5 or some other person who
may be fit and competent to help the
Tahashildar, in discharging his functions.
While doing so, to maintain law and order and
to see to it that there is no clash of interest
between the petitioners group and respondent
No.5 group. 8. Both the petitioners and
respondent No.4 volunteer to deposit a sum of
Rs. 1,25,000/- with the Tahashildar as the
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WA No. 100029 of 2024

initial cost for holding jatra by the Tahashildar
in an amount designated by the Tahashildar.

9. Sri. Anup Deshpande submits that
respondent No.4 being the Trust, the trust
would deposit the amount. His submission is
placed on record. 10. In the event of the trust
not depositing the amount by 17.02.2024,
then the petitioners could deposit the said
amount in the account designated by the
Tahashildar. 11. Statement of accounts to be
filed by 06.03.2024. Re-list on 12.03.2024″.

5. Learned Single Judge taking note of the facts

and circumstances and also taking note of the fact that

Jatra Mahotsav is between 24th and 26th of this month,

directed the Tahashildar to conduct the Jatra with the

assistance of trustees or the petitioner or devotees. Order

dated 09.01.2024 requires the Tahashildar to deposit the

amount collected from public during the Jatra and deposit

the same with a Nationalized Bank. There is no reason to

interfere with the discretionary order passed by the

learned Single Judge. However, we make it clear that,

while conducting the Jatra, the Tahashildar shall take

assistance of trustees of the 1st appellant-Trust except

appellant No.2 i.e. Shri. Vitthal Gopalrao Pagad. It is also

open for the Tahashildar to take assistance of the
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WA No. 100029 of 2024

devotees in terms of the customs prevailing for conducting

the Jatra. The religious part of the Jatra shall be conducted

by Tahashildar with the assistance of trustees as well as

the devotees.

6. The above arrangement is ordered with the

consent of learned counsel for the appellants and learned

counsel for respondent Nos.1 to 5. On instructions, the

learned counsels would submit that Jatra Mahotsav would

be conducted peacefully and religiously. The Tahashildar

shall conduct the Jatra Mahotsav in terms of tradition

which is followed in the temple.

7. The above order is without prejudice to the

rights of the parties in any other proceeding.

8. With the above, writ appeal stands disposed off.

Sd/-

JUDGE

Sd/-

JUDGE

RKM, List No.: 1 Sl No.: 4

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