Public Nuisances and other Wrongful Acts Affecting the Public (Section 91-93)

Section 91: Public nuisances and other wrongful acts affecting the public.—

(1) In the case of a public nuisance or other wrongful act affecting, or likely to affect, the public, a suit for a declaration and injunction or for such other relief as may be appropriate in the circumstances of the case, may be instituted,—

(a) by the Advocate-General, or

(b) with the leave of the Court, by two or more persons, even though no special damage has been caused to such persons by reason of such public nuisance or other wrongful act.

(2) Nothing in this section shall be deemed to limit or otherwise affect any right of suit which may exist independently of its provisions.


Section 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 trustee;

(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) authorising 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.

(3) The Court may alter the original purposes of an express or constructive trust created for public purposes of a charitable or religious nature and allow the property or income of such trust or any portion thereof to be applied cypres in one or more of the following circumstances, namely:—

(a) where the original purposes of the trust, in whole or in part,—

(i) have been, as far as may be, fulfilled; or

(ii) cannot be carried out at all, or cannot be carried out according to the directions given in the instrument creating the trust or, where there is no such instrument, according to the spirit of the trust; or

(b) where the original purposes of the trust provide a use for a part only of the property available by virtue of the trust; or

(c) where the property available by virtue of the trust and other property applicable for similar purposes can be more effectively used in conjunction with, and to that end can suitably be made applicable to any other purpose, regard being had to the spirit of the trust and its applicability to common purposes; or

(d) where the original purposes, in whole or in part, were laid down by reference to an area which then was, but has since ceased to be, a unit for such purposes; or

(e) where the original purposes, in whole or in part, have, since they were laid down,—

(i) been adequately provided for by other means, or

(ii) ceased, as being useless or harmful to the community, or

(iii) ceased to be, in law, charitable, or

(iv) ceased in any other way to provide a suitable and effective method of using the property available by virtue of the trust, regard being had to the spirit of the trust.


Section 93: Exercise of powers of Advocate-General outside presidency-towns.—

The powers conferred by Sections 91 and 92 on the Advocate-General may, outside the presidency-towns, be, with the previous sanction of the State Government, exercised also by the Collector or by such officer as the State Government may appoint in this behalf.


IMPORTANT CASE LAWS

1. Nature and Scope of Section 91

Dilip Kaushal v. State of M.P., AIR 2008 MP 324: “………..Sub-section (1) of section 91, Civil Procedure Code provides that in case of public nuisance or other wrongful act affecting or likely to affect the public, a suit for declaration and injunction or for such other relief as may be appropriate in the circumstances may be instituted and sub-section (2) of section 91 of the Civil Procedure Code states that nothing in the section shall be deemed to limit or otherwise affect any right of suit which may exist independently of its provisions. Thus, it is clear that section 91(1) of the Civil Procedure Code is not exhaustive of the remedies that are available to a party even in case of a public nuisance or other wrongful act affecting or likely to affect the public. The remedy of the Corporation and any other person under sub-section (5) of section 307 of the Act of 1956 is independent of the provisions of section 91 of the Civil Procedure Code and not only the Corporation but any other person can apply to the District Court for injunction for removal or alteration of a building on the ground that the provisions of the Act of 1956 or the bye-laws made thereunder have been contravened.”


2. Nature and Scope of Section 92

R. Venugopala Naidu v. Venkatarayulu Naidu Charities, 1989 Supp (2) SCC 356: “The legal position which emerges is that a suit under Section 92 of the Code is a suit of a special nature for the protection of public rights in the public trusts and charities. The suit is fundamentally on behalf of the entire body of persons who are interested in the trust. It is for the vindication of public rights. The beneficiaries of the trust, which may consist of public at large, may choose two or more persons amongst themselves for the purpose of filing a suit under Section 92 of the Code and the suit-title in that event would show only their names as plaintiffs. Can we say that the persons whose names are on the suit-title are the only parties to the suit? The answer would be in the negative. The named plaintiffs being the representatives of the public at large which is interested in the trust all such interested persons would be considered in the eye of law to be parties to the suit. A suit under Section 92 of the Code is thus a representative suit and as such binds not only the parties named in the suit-title but all those who are interested in the trust. It is for that reason that Explanation VI to Section 11 of the Code constructively bars by res judicata the entire body of interested persons from reagitating the matters directly and substantially in issue in an earlier suit under Section 92 of the Code.”


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