PresentDe Sampayo J. and Schneider A.J.
PIYADASA* et at. v. DEEVAMITTA et at.
435—D. O. Kandy. 27.910.
Buddhist ecclesiastical law—Sangika property—Priest cannot he ejectedfrom vihare except for some personal cause—Priest cMming aportion of the premises—Bight to eject—Bight of high priest togive priest a permanent interest to any p&rHon of vihare premises.
A Buddhist priest cannot be ejected from a Buddhist vihareexcept for some personal cause, irrespective of therights of property.This right does not meon that an individual priest can select lorhimself a particular place in the vihare independently of (he chiefincumbent and against his wishes. Any persistent assertion of andinsistence on such an alleged right is a personal cause, fors whichhe may properly be ejected. It is doubtful whether a highpriest, though he has control and' management of the premises,and might regulate its occupation and use, has any right to giveaway any part of it or to create an interest therein to last beyondhis own tenure of office.
rpHE facts appear from the judgment.
Bawa, K.C. (with him D. B. JayatUeke), fen* first defendant,appellant.
W, Jayawardene (with him *Samarazoickreme), for plaintiffs,respondents.
Cur. adv. mti.
September 15,1921. De Sampayo J.— '
This case involves one or two interesting points regardingN thepower of the chief incumbent of a Buddhist vihare to create aseparate interest in any portion, of the premises in favour of anindividual priest, and the extent of the right of a priest to continuehis residence at a vihare. The first plaintiff is the Maha Nayakaor High Priest of Malwatta Vihare of Kandy, and the secondplaintiff is the trustee appointed under the Buddhist TemporalitiesOtdinance. What is known as the Poya Maluwa Vihare is partand parcel of the Malwatta establishment, and forms the residentialquarters of the High Priest. On a part of the ground of the PoyaMaluwa Vihare, immediately adjoining the Afaha Pansala, therestood a small building used as the residence of a priest or priestsof Malwatta. The first defendant, who belongs to the Malwattaestablishment, and received his ecclesiastical education there,appears to have been occupying that.'building, and on August 30,1917, Galgiriawa Terunnanse, the then High Priest of Malwatta,
gave the first defendant a document, by which, reciting the firstdefendant’s merits as scholar and priest, he authorized the firstdefendant to put np a new building at his expense, and to use such$uilding as a permanent residence for himself and his pupils. Thefirst defendant, "acting under this authority, rebuilt the house andresided there. On January 3, 1020, the first defendant, claimingto be entitled to the house, purported tqgift the house to his tiftor,the second defendant. This obliged the plaintiffs to come intoCourt to have it declared that the defendants had no right to theFoya Maluwa Vihare premises, and that the first defendant’s deedof gift in favour of the second defendant was null and void. Theplaintiffs in their plaint offered to pay the defendants Rs. 300 ascompensation for the building, though they said they were notlegally obliged to do so. The first defendant, afterthe institutionof the action, revoked the deed of gift, but that makes no materialdifference with regard to the questions involved in the case.
The first defendant, in the first place, depends on the documentgranted to him by the High Priest Galgiri&wa Terunnanse. Thedocument is an informal non-notarial instrument, and is thereforeinsufficient to create* such an interest in the property as the first. defendant claims. Moreover, I doubt whether the High Priest,even apart from the Buddhist Temporalities Ordinance, .though hehad Control and management of the premises and might regulateits occupation and use, had any right to give away any part of itof to create an interest therein to last beyond his own tenure ofoffice. The first defendant, in the next place, falls back upon thegeneral principle that sangika property is common to the entirepriesthood, and that anindividual priest cannot be ejected therefrom.This principle was stated by Cayley CJ. in Dhammejoty v. TiUfiBanda1 as follows: “A Buddhist priest cannot be ejected froma Buddhist vihare except for some personal cause, irrespective ofthe rights of property:” There is no doubt about this Buddhistlaw, and it is therefore unnecessary to examine further the author-ities on that subject. This right of the priesthood, however,surely does not mean that an individual priest can select for himselfa particular place in the vihare independently of the chief incumbentand against his wishes. I think that any persistent assertion ofand insistence on such an alleged right is a “personal cause,” forwhich he may properly be asked to. leave. Such conduct wouldamount to contumacy, and in the exercise of ecclesiastical disciplineand order, the incumbent has, X think, sufficient authority even toeject the offending priest-. In this case the first defendant, notonly asserted an independent right, but purported to transfer itto another priest. It is unnecessary, however, to pursue thissubject, bocausethe District Judge has hot ordered the first defend-'ant to be ejected, but following the form of decree in Hippola “v.
(1*52) 4 & <7. C 1*2.
. Piyaxtasa v*Deevamitta
Piyadasa (D. C. Kandy, No. 4,034),1 he has only ordered the plaintiffsto be put in possession. It is objected on the first defendant'sbehalf that even this decree is wrong, because the plaintiffs havenot specifically prayed for possession. There is no substance in thisobjection. The plaintiffs prayed for declaration of title and fordamages until possession is restored, and that, I think, is sufficientto enable the Court to enter such a decree as the above. £ thinkalso that the sum of Rs. 612'24 awarded to the first defendant ascompensation for the building is quite ample.
In my opinion this appeal should be dismissed, with costs.
Schneider A.J.—I agree.
A ppeal dismissed.
PIYADASA et al v. DEEVAMITTA et al