Write a critical notes on religious endowment. Now is it created? What are essentials for the creation of a valid endowment? What are its kinds ?
(b) Whether an idol is a juridical person ? Whether dedication to an Idol not in existence is valid ?
(c) Whether an endowment be transferred ?
Ans. (a) What is Endowment? —An endowment includes the properties set apart or dedicated by gift or devise for the worship of some particular deity or for the maintenance of a religious or charitable institution, or for the benefit of the public or some section of the public in the, advancement of religion, knowledge, commerce, health, safety or for any other object beneficial to the mankind. According to Raghvachariar an endowment is referred to as the setting apart of property for religious and charitable purposes in which there is a Karta and a specific thing which can be ascertained. A disposition in India to be a public trust must be made with the purpose of advancement of either religion, knowledge, commerce, health, safety or other objects beneficial to the mankind.
Kinds of Endowments — Endowments are of two kinds —
1. Public Endowment—In order to ascertain the nature of the endowment as to whether it is public or private the subsequent conduct of the settler and use of the evidence of the property set apart by the public at large are to be considered. In fact when a temple is thrown open for public at large for worship, a valid inference can he drawn that a public trust has been intended to have been created.
2. Private Endowment—Private endowment is that in which the public has no ingress, as an endowment for the worship of the family deity of the settler. Where the property is kept separate safely for the worship of family deity by family members only, with which the public has nothing to do, it is a private endowment. Even if other Hindu worshippers are allowed to worship a family deity, it will not confer public nature to the endowment. In Venagnpalasovainy V.s. 11.R.E. Board, A.I.R. 1976 Mad. 102, it was laid down that where the temple was initially set apart for the use of the family members only and subsequently if some outsiders are allowed ingress therein, it will not automatically alter the private nature to public. Subject of Endowment–A Hindu is free to dedicate all of his property for religious or charitable purpose, which he can validly dispose of by gift or will. A Hindu can even dispose whole of his property. It was held in Venkata Krishana V.s. Sub-Collector, A.I.R. 1969, S.C. 563, that a tank can also be a subject of endowment. Mode of Creation of Endowment–In case of creation of an endowment by will a written deed is necessary. The will must be in writing attested by atleast two witnesses if the case is governed by the Indian Succession Act, but the creation of a trust for the purpose is not necessary. Although no religious ceremony such as Sankalpa or Samarpana is necessary yet a clear and unequivocal manifestation of the intention to create the endowment is required to constitute dedication. A mere entry in the account book of a firm of money lenders showing that the firm is indebted . to the temple allowed by .crediting of interest does not create an endowment. Even in the case of dedication to an idol it is not required that the property may be allowed to vest in the trustees. Mere expression of intention is sufficient and Sankalpa and Samarpana is not necessary.