As per Law of Hindu Religious and charitable endowments,When property is set apart for the worship of a family God in which public are not interested, the endowment is a private one. Private religious endowment can arise only with respect to a family deity. There is no other manner in which a private religious endowment can be created. Even in case when the management of the temple by the members of a family throughout will not make a temple a private one if the idol installed therein is not a family deity. A family deity means a deity worshiped by a particular family for generation in succession.
This being the position of law, in a recent judgment rendered by a trial court, under section 92 cpc, it was held that the defendant temple is a private temple belonging to 7 families. This would invariably refer to the fact that the deity therein is not a family deity as there can not be a common family deity for different families under law. The temple in question is worth about 40 crore. It has every features of a public temple under law. They were all overlooked. The above decision seems to have been pronounced under undue influence.
An appeal has been filed. In the circumstances I would like to know, whether the Supreme Court of India has ever pronounced any judgment holding that ,the temple in question is a private temple belonging to more than one family. Any information in this regard will go a long way in helping the temple to retain it original character of a public temple and the same will be highly appriciated.