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Present: Wood Renton J. and Pereira J.
SUMMANASARA UNNANSE v. SENEVIRATNA.
338—D. C. Kalutara, 4,774.
.Action to 6e declared entitled to the management of a school.
An action to be declared entitled to the management of a school,apart from any claim to the fabric, was held to be bad.
Pereira. J.—If the plaintiff was the proprietor of the school,there could have been no difficulty in the way of his instituting anaction rei vindicatio in respect of it; but it appears that he hasreally no proprietary rights. He bases his claim to be declaredentitled to the management of the school on the ground that he“ opened ” the school (whatever that may mean),, and had itregistered as a grant-in-aid school with himself as proprietor. Thestatus of “ manager of a school ” is hardly one recognized byour law.
/J*HE facts are set out in the judgment.
H. A. Jayewardene, for the plaintiff, appellant.
A. St. V. Jayewardene, for the defendant, respondent.
Cur. adv. vult.
February 14, 1913. Wood Renton J.—
The appellant in his original plaint sued the defendant-respondentfor a declaration of his title as proprietor of a vernacular school.He alleged that he had opened the school in 1897, maintained it till1900, and registered it in 1900 as a grant-in-aid school. He appointedthe father-in-law of the defendant-respondent to manage the schoolduring his absence from Ceylon. On his return to Ceylon in March,1911, the respondent refused to give back the management of theschool, and continued to remain in possession both of the budding andof its furniture. The appellant purported to sue as incumbent ofa vihare within whose premises the school, according to him, wassituated. The respondent in his answer contended that the appel-lant could not maintain the action as incumbent, and that it wasonly the trustee for the temple who could sue for the recovery ofproperty belonging to it. He admitted the opening of the schoolin 1897, its registration in 1900, and its management by the appel-lant till 1904. He alleged that in 1905 the appellant had abandonedthe school; that his own father-in-law had built the school on landbelonging to him at his expense; and that since his father-in-law’sdeath he had been duly appointed manager. At the trial theappellant entirely abandoned his claim for a declaration of his
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title as proprietor of the school, and altered the prayer in hisplaint to one for a declaration of his title to the management of it.After a good1 deal of somewhat confusing discussion in the DistrictCourt and a previous appeal to the Supreme Court, the learnedDistrict Judge held, after hearing the evidence of Mr. Harward, theDirector of Public Instruction, that the appellant’s claim to themanagement of the school, disassociated as it had been by theamendment of the plaint from any claim of title to the fabric itselfwas bad. But he said that he would hear evidence as to the claimto the furniture. The appellant stated that if he could not get adeclaration of title to the management of the school he did not wishthe furniture. The learned District Judge thereupon dismissed hisaction with costs. I think that he was perfectly right in doing so.The evidence of Mr. Harward clearly shows that the appointmentof managers to grant-in-aid schools rests with him, and that hewould not be bound to give effect to any decree of the District Court,or, for that matter, of the Supreme Court, on the subject. AlthoughMr. Harward, after the plaintiff's return to Ceylon, appointed himmanager on the assumption that he was in possession of the school,this appointment was subsequently revoked, and the respondentis now the de facto manager. The appellant's counsel invited us togive him an opportunity of falling back on his original claim for adeclaration of title to the school. But this, I think, we ought notto do. I would dismiss the appeal with costs, without prejudice,however, to any fresh proceedings that appellant may be advisedto take for the recovery of the school building itself, or otherwise.
I agree. In this case the plaintiff claims to be declared entitled" to the management " of a certain school and “ to the furniture,together with everything appertaining thereto." He avers in hisplaint that he is one of the incumbents of Kanda ’Vihare, and as suchhe " opened " the school " for boys at the said vihare premises," andmaintained it until 1900, when he had the school " registered as agrant-in-aid school " with himself as its " managing proprietor."If the plaintiff was the proprietor of the school, there could havebeen no difficulty in the way of his instituting an action rei vindi-cate in respect of it; but it appears that he has really no proprietaryrights, and that he cannot appear in Court as proprietor. Thatbeing so, he bases bis claim to be declared entitled to the manage-ment of the school on the facts stated above, namely, that he" opened " the school (whatever that may mean), and had it regis-tered as a grant-in-aid school with himself as proprietor. Thestatus of “ manager of a school " is hardly one recognized by our.law. It appears that there is such a position provided for bywhat is referred to by Mr. Harward as " The Bevised Code,"As to that, it is sufficient to say that, according to Mr. Harward's
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evidence, the plaintiff is not “ manager ’* under “ The BevisedCode. *fHSb position, then, is that he claims to be declared entitled to themanagement of the school because he, as an incumbent of KandaYihare, “ opened ’* the school. It is dear that he cannot in lawmaintain such a position.
SUMMANASARA UNNANSE v. SENEVIRATNA