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Sunday, August 29, 2010

Family Law - Powers of Mutawali

INTRODUCTION

A mutawalli is not a trustee, but a manager or superintendent of property. The wakf property does not vest in him; it belongs to the Almighty and is in very deed ‘God’s Acre’. The mutawalli is not the owner of the property, but merely the servant of god, managing the property for the good of his creatures.

Under the Mahomedan law the moment a wakf is created all rights of property pass out of the wakif and vest in the Almighty. The mutawalli has no right in the property belonging to the wakf; the property is not vested in him, and is not a trustee in the technical sense. He is merely a superintendent or manager. The admissions of a mutawalli about the nature of the trust are not binding on his successors.

A mutawalli may sue in his personal capacity for a declaration that he is mutawalli without suing for possession. Where in a suit, the plaintiffs admit that the defendant is in possession of the suit properties but they assert that he is there as mutawalli and that his possession is on behalf of the Sunni Muhammadan community and for that reason the plaintiffs say that a declaratory suit will lie and that they need not sue for possession, then the burden lies on the plaintiffs to prove their claim. As the defendant is admittedly in possession and except for the fact that the plaintiffs claim that he is in possession of their behalf the plaintiffs are out of possession, they must prove that the defendant is in possession on their behalf. The only way in which the plaintiffs can do that is by showing that the properties in suit are wakf property.

A mutawalli is entitled to sue for possession, though the property is not vested in him. If the mutawalli's name has been recorded as a co-sharer, he is entitled under sec. 226 of the Agra Tenancy Act 1926, to sue the lambardar for his share of the profits.

The office of mutawalli of a public wakf, being in the nature of a public office, the question as to which of two persons is entitled to be mutawalli cannot be referred to arbitration. But where A claims that certain property is wakf property and that he is the mutawalli thereof and B denies that the property is wakf property, an award made by an arbitrator that each shall be entitled to an equal share in the management and profits of the property until the matter is decided by the Court, is perfectly valid.

The functions of a mutawalli are the same as those of a trustee though he is not a trustee either generally or under the Indian Trusts Act.

Although the wakf property is not vested in the mutawalli, he merely has the same rights of management as an individual owner. He is not bound to allow the use of the wakf property for objects which though laudable in them are not objects of the wakf. The Muslim community cannot compel the mutawalli of a mosque to allow a school building to be erected on a site attached to the mosque. Again although a mutawalli is not a trustee in the sense in which the expression is used in English law he has duties akin to those of 'a trustee and if he wrongfully deprives a beneficiary of the profits he is liable for interest. It has even been said that in the case of a private wakf, the mutawalli is not a mere superintendent or manager but he is practically speaking the owner.

A de facto mutawalli is not unknown in Mohammedan law. A de facto mutawalli can sue for rents without establishing his de jure character. In this case the owner of a house created a wakf and appointed himself as a mutawalli. He then appointed certain persons as his agents and gave them a power of attorney which included powers of management and bringing suits to evict tenants and to recover rent. The agent brought the suit as agent. It was held that the suit was validly constituted.

The liabilities of a mutawalli not duly appointed are the same as those of a duly appointed mutawalli. Where the defendants have been looking after the suit properties in one capacity or the other and been enjoying the usufruct thereof, they are trustees de son tort and the mere fact that they put forward their own title to the properties would not make them trespassers.

Now there is conflict of views as far as the different sects are concerned. In one case the court appointed a Shia to be mutawalli of a Sunni wakf, but he was person of considerable local influence both among the Sunnis and Shias. In another case the court refused to appoint a woman of the Babi sect to be mutwalli of a Shia wakf, though she was a lineal descendent of the founder of the wakf who was himself a Shia.










WAKF AND ITS IMPORTANCE


The word wakf literally means 'detention' but in Islamic law it means (i) state lands which are inalienable, used for charitable purposes; and (ii) pious endowments. In India generally we are concerned with the second meaning, and wakf is thus a pious endowment which is inalienable and therefore supposed to be everlasting although, in actual practice, this quality of perpetuity is cut down by several limitations.

It is tolerably certain that prior to Islam there were no wakfs in Arabia. The earliest wakf mentioned by the legal authorities is that of 'Umar the Second Caliph.

Ibn Omar reported – ‘Omar ibn al-Khattab got land in Khaybar; so he came to the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be on him, to consult him about it. He said, "0 Messenger of Allah! I have got land in Khaybar than which I have never obtained more valuable property; what dost thou advise about it?" He said: "If thou likest, make the property itself to remain inalien¬able. and give (the profit from) it in charity." So Omar made it a charity on the condition that it shall not be sold, or given away as a gift, or inherited, and made it a charity among the needy and the relatives and to set free slaves and in the way of Allah and for the travellers and to entertain guests; there being no blame on him who managed it if he ate out of it and made (others) eat, not accumulating wealth thereby.

The origin of wakf is to be sought in the strongly marked impulse to charitable deeds which is characteristic of Islam. The importance of the institution will be better understood by taking into consideration the enormous extent of wakf land in the various countries of Islam. In the Turkey of 1925, three-fourths of the arable land, estimated at 50,000,000 Turkish pounds, was endowed as wakf. At the end of the nineteenth century, one-half of the cultivable land in Algiers was dedicated. Similarly in Tunis one-third, and in Egypt one-eighth, of the cultivated soil was 'in the ownership of God'. But it was already realized by the beginning of the twentieth century, first by France and later in Turkey and Egypt, that the possession of the Dead Hand spelled ruin. The institution of wakf was in some respects a handicap to the natural growth and development of a healthy national economy.

The religious motive of wakf is the origin of the legal fiction that wakf property belongs to Almighty God; the economic ruin that it brings about is indicated by the significant phrase 'The Dead Hand'. Wakf to some extent ameliorates poverty, but it has also its dark side. When a father provides a certain income for his children and descendants, the impulse to seek education and the initiative to improve their lot gradually decrease. Charitable aid often keeps people away from industry, and lethargy breeds degeneration. Furthermore, some people who desire fame by making foundations and endowments obtain property by shady means, amounting even to extortion and exploita¬tion. Agricultural land deteriorates in the course of time; no one is concerned with keeping it in good trim; the yield lessens, and even perpetual leases come to be recognized. In India, instances of the mismanagement of wakfs, of the worth¬lessness of mutawallis (managers), and of the destruction of wakf property have often come before the courts. Consider¬ing all these matters, it can by no means be said that the institution of wakf as a whole has been an unmixed blessing to the community.

If the conditions relating to wakfs in Muslim countries are examined in general, and in India in particular, two general tendencies will appear with unmistakable clarity. First, everywhere there is a tendency towards greater state control; and secondly, there is probably a move in the direction of reduction of wakfs, and particularly of personal and family wakfs. As illustrative of the former, we have the numerous Wakf Acts all over India; of the latter, it is impossible to be certain, but people are beginning to realize the disadvantages of tying up property in perpetuity, where succeeding generations obtain successively smaller fractions of the income, part of which-if not the whole-is often squandered in vexatious and frivolous litigation, and duly 'absorbed' by unscrupulous lawyers.

APPOINTMENT OF MUTAWALLI

WHO MAY BE APPOINTED MUTAWALLI?

The founder of a wakf may appoint the following persons as Mutawalli:
a. himself, or
b. his children and descendents, or
c. any other person, even a female , or a non-Mohammedan.

But where the mutawalli has to perform religious duties or spiritual functions which cannot be performed by a female, e.g the duties of a spiritual superior, or one who reads sermons or mujavar of a Dargah, or an imam in a mosque whose function is to lead the congregation, a female is not competent to hold the office of a mutawalli, and cannot be appointed as such.

Neither a minor nor a person of unsound mind can be appointed mutawalli. But where the office of mutwalli is hereditary and the person entitled to succeed to the office is a minor, or where the mode of succession to the office is defined in the deed of wakf and the person is entitled to succeed to the office on the death of the first or other mutawalli to act in his place during his minority.

Female as mulawalli.- The Privy Council have said that there is no legal prohibition against a woman holding a mutawalliship when the trust by its nature involves no spiritual duties such as a woman could not discharge in person or by deputy. In a case, where a woman was the founder of a wakf for a mosque and other religious and charitable purposes, and appointed herself first mutawalli, and directed that two male relations should be mutawallis after her and then directed that their legal heirs should succeed as mutawallis. The Calcutta High Court held that the expression legal heirs did not exclude female heirs. The Madras High Court has held that a woman can be appointed head mujawar of an astan or platform where mohurram ceremonies are performed. The Court observed that the rule of exclusion did not apply if the religious duties were such as could be performed by deputy. The Bombay High Court has also taken the view that in the absence of any usage a woman can be appointed a mujawar. In a Bombay case it was considered that religious duties cannot be performed by proxy and it was accordingly held that a female is excluded from succession to land assigned as remuneration of a Mulla or village preacher. The decision may well be supported on narrower grounds as the performance of the duties of a preacher like those of the Imam of a mosque depends upon the personality of the incumbent and cannot be assigned to a deputy. But in the case of an appointment, where the duties are secular or religious, the Court may prefer to appoint a male mutawalli owing to the habits of seclusion of Mohammedan females.

The founder of the wakf has the power to appoint the first mutawalli, and to lay down a scheme for the administration of the trust and for succession to the office of mutawalli. He may nominate the successors by name, or indicate the class together with their qualifications, from whom the mutawalli may be appointed, and may invest the mutawalli with power to nominate a successor after his death or relinquishment of office.

If any person appointed as mutawalli dies, or refuses to act in the trust, or is removed by the Court, or if the office if mutawalli otherwise becomes vacant, and there is no provision in the deed of wakf regarding succession to the office, a new mutawalli may be appointed.
a. by the founder of the wakf,
b. by the executor (if any);
c. if there be no executor, the mutawalli for the time being may appoint a successor on his death-bed;
d. if no such appointment is made, the Court may appoint a mutawalli. In making the appointment the Court will have regard to the following rules:-

(i) the Court should not disregard the directions of the founder except for the manifest benefit of the endowment;
(ii) the Court should not appoint a stranger, so long as there is any member of the founder’s family in existence qualified to hold the office;
(iii) where there is a contest between a lineal descendant of the founder and one who is not a lineal descendant, the Court is not bound to appoint the lineal descendent, but has a discretion in the matter, and may in the exercise of that discretion appoint the other claimant to be mutawalli.


LINEAL DESCENDANT
In Shahar Banoo v. Aga Mohammed, the founder was a Shia and his lineal descendant, who claimed to be appointed mutawalli was a female of Babi sect.The Trial Judge appointed her a mutawalli, but the High Court set aside the appointment and appointed another person. This was not on the ground that she was not qualified, but because as a female she would have to perform many of her duties by deputy, and as a biwi she might take zealous interest in carrying out the religious observances of the Shia school for which the trust was founded. This decision was upheld by the Privy Council on appeal. In considering the authorities their Lordships said:

“The authorities seem to their lordships to fall far short of establishing the absolute right of the lineal descendents of the founder of the endowment, in a case like the present, in which that founder has not prescribed any line of devolution.”

If the line of devolution is prescribed from generation to generation it does not follow that a female, or persons claiming through females, are excluded though it may not be desirable to appoint a female owing to their habits and seclusion. In a case where the founder of a wakf was Mohammedan lady who had appointed herself as first mutawalli and directed that the succession should be to the legal heirs of the second mutawalli it was held that female heirs were not excluded. Where the wakif appointed his son as mutawalli it was held that the words ( ba farzandan-farzandan) should succeed as mutawallis, it was held that the words ba farzandan did not exclude the daughters of male descendents, but excluded the children of daughters.

RESIGNATION OF WAKIF AS MUTAWALLI
In Ali Asghar v. Farid Uddin, the wakif appointed himself as the first mutawalli, and after his death A. The wakif resigned from the mutawalliship and appointed B as mutawalli . It was held that A was entitled to become the mutawalli only on the death of the wakif, and as there was nothing on the resignation of the first mutawalli, there was a vacancy, and the wakif was entitled to appoint B as mutawalli, but such appointment was valid only for the lifetime of the wakif. “There is nothing in Mohammedan law”, said Braund J., ‘which prevents the appropriator or wakif, who is himself the first mutawalli from resigning his office, and, not out of its own residuary or general powers as wakif or appropriator, appointing to his own successor provided that thereby he does not oust any express power already conferred by the deed of wakf.” Where the wakif has reserved the power of appointing a mutawalli, he is entitled to appoint a mutawalli, but he is not entitled to dismiss him, unless he has reserved to himself the power to do so.


POWER OF COURTS
As regards the management of public, religious or charitable trusts, the privy council in Mohammed Ismail v. Ahmed Moola said:
“ It has further been contended that under the Mohammedan law the court has no discretion in the matter (i.e. in appointment of trustees of the mosque in question) and that it must give effect to the rule laid down by the founder in all matters relating to the appointment and succession of trustees and mutawallis. Their Lordships cannot help thinking that the extreme proposition urged on behalf of the appellants is based on misconception. The Muslim law, like the English law, draws a wide distinction between public and private trusts. Generally speaking, in case of a wakf or trust created for specific individuals or a determinate body of individuals, the Kazi, whose place in the British Indian System is taken by the Civil Court, has, in carrying the trust into execution to give effect, so far as possible, to the expressed wishes of the founder. With respect, however, to public religious or charitable trusts, of which a public mosque is a common and well-known example, the Kazi’s discretion is very wide. He may not depart from the intentions of the founder or from any rule fixed by him as to the objects of the benefaction; but as regards management, which must by governed by circumstances, he has complete discretion. He may differ to the wishes of the founder so far as they are comfortable to changed conditions and circumstances, but his primary duty is to consider the interests of the general body of the public for whose benefit the trust is created. He may in his judicial discretion vary any rule of management which he may find either not practicable or not in the interests of the institution.” Even if a wakf deed has provided that a certain person should be appointed mutawalli during the minority of a mutawalli, the Court ought not to appoint the person as mutawalli of he has repudiated the wakf.

It has been held by the Orissa High Court that the participation by the public in the management of the mosque by subscriptions and donations is not inconsistent with the mutawalliship of the person in office. A member of the public by completing the construction of the mosque and by making improvements in it, whether with his own funds or funds raised by public subscriptions, cannot disentitle the person who has the right to mutawalliship and himself become the mutawalli. Mohammedan Law permits anybody to do such acts of piety which the mutawalli cannot refuse.

The mutawalli has to carry out the provisions of the wakf strictly. In considering whether there should be a deviation from the original user of a mosque, the civil court, which has taken the place of the Kazi, has to decide on the evidence available whether the interest of the public to whom the mosque is dedicated require a change in the object of the foundation, whether the conditions necessary from making the change exist and whether the object of the founder was comprehensive enough to include the change.

VACANCY MAY BE FILLED UPON AN APPLICATION
Where there is a vacancy in the office of mutawalli, and there is no question of removing an existing trustee, the vacancy may be filled up by an application to the court. It is not necessary to bring a suit under section 92 of the Code of Civil Procedure; but before making the appointment the court should issue notices to all persons interested.

APPOINTMENT BY CONGREGATION
In the case of an institution confined to a particular locality, such as a mosque of a graveyard, the appointment of a mutawalli may be made by the congregation of the locality.



MUTWALLI MAY APPOINT SUCCERSSOR ON HIS DEATH-BED
If the founder and his executor are both dead, and there is no provision in the wakfnama or succession to the office, the mutawalli for the time being may appoint a successor on his death-bed. He cannot, however do so while he is in health, as distinguished from death-illness. Nor if the office goes by hereditary right.

A mutawalli may on his death-bed appoint even a stranger as his successor; he is not bound to appoint a member of the founder’s family. The Lahore High Court has decided that the above rule applies only where the mutawalli transfers the mutawalliship to another, but he may appoint his successor by will (g); but in appeal to the Privy Council, their lordships refrained from expressing an opinion on this point.
.
A mutawalli cannot delegate his functions in his life-time while he is in good health. He can, however, nominate his successor in his life-time and even while in good health, but it must be effective after his death. It’s only the delegation or parting with his duties when he is in good health that is prohibited: The Privy Council explained this in the following passage:

"Death may come without warning or expectation of death may not be realized. In the former case no appointment will be made, and in the latter any appointment will be ineffective."

OFFICE OF MUTAWALLI NOT HEREDITARY

The Mohammedan law does not recognise any right of inheritance to the office of mutawalli. But the office may become hereditary by custom, in which case the custom should be followed. Where there is a vacancy in the office of mutawalli, and the Court is called upon 10 appoint a mutawalli, the Court will ordinarily appoint a member of the founder's family in preference to a stranger, and a senior member in preference to a junior member. But where no such appointment is to be made, and the suit is merely one 10 oust from the office of mutawalli, a defendant who is already in possession and enjoyment of the office, the Court will not oust the defendant from the office merely because the plaintiff is the elder brother and the defendant a younger brother, or because the plaintiff is a member of the founder's family and the defendant a stranger. The reason is that according to Mohammedan law, no right of inheritance attaches to the office of mutawalli. The office, however, may be hereditary by custom. Such a custom, however, is opposed to the general law, and must be supported by strict proof (k).

A suit was filed for a declaration that the plaintiff was mutawalli and for a permanent. injunction restraining the defendant from interfering. The defenses raised were limitation and prescription and that the suit was bad as no consequential relief was asked. It was held that the mutawalliship being heritable or hereditary the suit was maintainable as the property vests in the Almighty and a suit for the possession of the office of a mutawalli was sufficient. The claim for permanent injunction made this a suit for declaration and a claim for recovery of the office of a mutawalli. It was held that one trespasser cannot tack on the possession of another trespasser when there is no connection between the two.
















POWERS OF MUTAWALLI

POWER OF MUTAWALLI TO SELL OF MORTGAGE
A mutawalli has no power, without the permission of the Court, to mortgage, sell or exchange wakf property or any part thereof, unless he is expressly empowered by the deed of wakf to do so.

A mutawalli of a wakf,although not a trustee in the true sense of the term, is still bound by the various obligations of a trustee. He like a trustee or a person standing in a fiduciary capacity cannot advance his own interests or the interests of his close relations by virtue of the position held by him. The use of the funds of the wakf for acquisition of a property by a mutawaIli in the name of his, wife would amount to a breach of trust and the property so acquired would be treated as wakf property.

A mutawaIli is not allowed to sell, mortgage or lease the wakf property unless he obtains permission of Court which has the general powers controlling the actions of mutawalli. Save and except as recognized by any custom, the law does not favor the right to act as mutawalli becoming heritable. When the mutawalli does, the wakif is still alive, possesses the right to appoint another and in his absence his curator and in the absence of both, the Court appoints the successor mutawalli. Mutawalli has no ownership rights or estate in the wakf property, he holds the property as a manager for fulfilling the purpose of wakf. Even a Sajja Danishina, who has larger interest in the usufruct has no right in the property endowed. These features distinguish a mutawalli from a shebait. The elements which render shebaitship a property are absent in mutawalliship and mutawalliship is an office.

Power of sale - An instance of such power is a deed of wakf which authorized the mutawalli to sell the property and utilize the proceeds for the construction and maintenance of a resthouse at Mecca (I). But a sale after the death of the Wakif by the mutawalli according to the directions in a void wakf is void against the heirs.

Unauthorized mortgage cannot be partly valid- The Court removed a mutawalli for mortgaging the wakf property, and appointed a new mutawalli. When the new mutawalli sued to recover possession from the mortgage, the latter claimed that the mortgage was valid as to the portion of the property which was settled for the benefit of the settler’s family. The Judicial Committee held that such a contention was inconsistent with the character of a wakf under which all rights of property pass out of the wakif and vest in Almighty God.

Retrospeclive confirmation. - It has been held in Calcutta that a mortgage of wakf property, though made without the previous sanction of the Court, may be retrospectively confirmed by the Court. A mortgage without the previous leave of the Court is not void ab initio. The Allahabad High Court acting on this principle validated a usufructuary mortgage by a mutawalli. Both these cases proceeded on the grounds that (1) the mortgage was necessary for the purposes of the wakf, and (2) that the pledge was not of the corpus but of the income. The Madras High Court has also decided that an alienation which was for the benefit of the wakf can be retrospectively confirmed. The same view has been taken by the Orissa High Court.

The court exercises the same powers as a Kazi and the orders of the court are revisable under S. 115 of the Code of Civil Procedure. The court can grant permission for transfer of property.

Unauthorized alienation – who can sue the muttawalli? - Where a mutawalli makes an unauthorized alienation of wakf property, any beneficiary has the right to bring a suit for possession. It is not necessary to file a represeritative suit.

Unauthorized alienation and limitation.- The law as regards the period of limitation for a suit to follow wakf property in the hands of a mutawalli and to set aside unauthorized transfers of such property, and to recover possession thereof from the transferee, was amended and altered by Act I of 1929. The amendments consist of an addition of para. 2 to s.10 of the original Act (Limitaion Act, 1908), and of the insertion of new articles, being arts. 48B, 134A, 134B and 134C.

POWER OF MUTAWALLI TO GRANT LEASE
A mutawalli has no power to grant a lease of wakf property, if it be agricultural, for a term exceeding three years, and, if non-agricultural, for a term exceeding one year-
a. unless he has been expressly authorized by the deed of wakf to do so; or
b. where he has no such authority, unless he has obtained the leave of the Court to do so; such leave maybe granted even if the founder has expressly prohibited a lease for a longer term.

A mutawalli cannot lease agricultural land for more than three years and other land for more than one year without the permission of the Wakf Board. A longer lease than the one permitted is not void, but voidable at the instance of the mutawalli or the beneficiaries. It can be validated by the Board even retrospectively.

A mutawalli executed a lease of property subject to a wakf for a period exceeding one year without the sanction of the Court. It was held that the test to apply would be:

(a) whether the transaction was for a legal necessity, or
(b) whether it was for the benefit of the wakf, or
(c) whether it was of the benefit of the beneficiaries.

If so found the sanction can be given retrospectively and the transaction need not be struck down. The transaction is voidable and not void ab initio.

Permanent lease. - It follows that a permanent lease cannot be granted by a mutawalli without leave of the Court. Such leave must be obtained on an application to the District Judge. A Munsiff cannot validate such a lease by an order made in a pending suit. A single judge of the Bombay High Court, however, has held that where a mutawalli has leased wakf property for a long term without the sanction of the Court, the Court has the power to sanction the lease retrospectively if it is satisfied that the transaction is for the benefit of the wakf. The lease however binds to mutawalli personally during his lifetime and he cannot repudiate it and evict the lessee. Where a mutawalli under a lease of Wakf property for agricultural purposes granted a right of a permanent nature, it was held by the Patna High Court that the lease was valid for the first three years and since ho steps were taken to avoid the voidable lease, the lessee's possession continued to be lawful and was not that of a trespasser.

CREDITOR’S RIGHT
As a mutawalli (unless authorized by the deed of wakf) has no power of alienation without the leave of the Court, a creditor advancing money to a mutawalli for carrying out the purpose of the trust has no right to be indemnified out of the trust property. In this respect a creditor of a mutawalli is in a worse position than a creditor of the shebait of a Hindu endowment. A decree against A.B. "as mutawalli" is not sufficient to create a charge on the wakf property of which A.B. is mutawalli. A decree will not bind, the wakf property unless it expressly says so; and in that case the proper procedure, in execution is to appoint a receiver of the income of the endowment.



REMUNERATION OF MUTAWALLI

The founder may provide for the remuneration of the mutawalli. Such remuneration may be a fixed sum or it may be a residue of the income of the wakf property after defraying the expenses necessary for the maintenance of the wakf. If no provision is made by the founder for the remuneration of the mutawalli, the Court may fix a sum not exceeding one-tenth of the income of the wakf property. If the amount fixed by the founder is too small; the Court may increase the allowance, but it must not exceed the limit of one-tenth.

The wakf concerned being a wakf•al-al-aulad, the mutawallis were also beneficiaries and the right, title and interest which other mutawallis or their predecessor, in interest had in the estate vested by transfer, surrender or abandonment in her husband and on his death in herself. The prayer for declaration or right to wakf properties is as substantial as the claim in respect of the order of the commissioner of wakf. Such relief in respect of immovable properties situated outside the jurisdiction of the Court cannot be entertained by the Court.











REMOVAL OF MUTAWALLI
Once a mutawalli has been duly appointed, the wakf has no power to remove him from the office. The court, however, can in a fit case remove a mutawalli and appoint another in his place. On proof of misfeasance, breach of trust, insolvency, or on the muta¬walli claiming adversely to the wakf, a court has the right to remove him.

A mutawalli has no right to transfer the office to another, but he may appoint deputies or agents to assist him in the administration of the wakf. The wakf, however, who is himself the first mutawalti, can resign his office during his own lifetime and appoint another mutawalli.

An illiterate pardanashin woman purported to transfer her mutawalliship to a person who stood in a fiduciary capacity to her. It was held, first, that the onus was heavily on persons who set up such a deed to prove that the mind of the lady went with the deed, that this onus was not discharged and that the transfer was void. Secondly, where the deed itself does not lay down rules for the transfer of the tawliyat, and the transfer has been purported to be made to a person not in the direct line of succession, such a transfer cannot be set up and must fail.

The Privy Council has decided an important point regard¬ing the office of tawliyat held jointly by several mutawallis. A, B and C was appointed joint mutawaltis of a certain wakf. No direction was given regarding the succession of the mutawallis, and no custom or usage was proved. A died during the lifetime of Band C, leaving a will whereby he appointed X as mutawalti after him. It was held that such appointment was not valid, for the office of mutawalliship (tawliyat) was one and indivisible, and on the death of A, it passed by survivorship to Band C.

A Full Bench of the Allahabad High Court has laid down that the provisions of the Indian Trusts Act do not apply to a wakf 'ala'l-awlad, and the removal of a mutawalli can be effected only by means of a regular suit and not in summary proceedings started upon a mere application.

























STATUTORY CONTROL

Since 1923 a number of Acts have been passed by the Central and State Legislatures regulating the administration of wakfs. The most important of these is the Mussalman Wakf Act, 1923 (XLII of 1923), which was passed for making provision for the better management of wakf property and for ensuring the keeping and publication of proper accounts. The chief provisions are that mutawalis are bound to furnish the District Court with a statement containing a description and particulars of wakf property; that muta-wallIs are bound to file proper accounts of the administration of the wakf property, and that any person may require the mutawaili to furnish further information.

The Mussalman Wakf Act, 1923, which does not apply to family wakfs, has been modified to suit local conditions in several states of India: (i) in Bengal, it has been replaced by the Bengal Wakf Act, 1934 (Act XIII of 1934); (ii) in Bombay, it has been modified by the Mussalman Wakf (Bombay Amendment) Act XVIII of 1935; and (iij) in Uttar Pradesh, the United Provinces Muslim Wakfs Act, XIII of 1936, replaces the Act of 1923.

Another important Act is the Wakfs Act, 1954 (XXIX of 1954) to provide for the better administration and supervision of wakfs; details will be found in Mulla and Tyabji, but it may be mentioned that it has been extended only to some and not all the States in India.

In addition to the Wakf Acts, there are a number of enactments which deal with private and charitable endowments in India' and the law on the subject may be found in Tyabji §§51O sqq.; and a useful list of statutory provisions will be found in Mulla §212, 212A, 225 and Saksena, Muslim Law, 4th ed. (Luck¬now, 1963),644 sqq.



CONCLUSION
A mutawalli may sue in his personal capacity for a declaration that he is mutawalli without suing for possession. Where in a suit, the plaintiffs admit that the defendant is in possession of the suit properties but they assert that he is there as mutawalli and that his possession is on behalf of the Sunni Muhammadan community and for that reason the plaintiffs say that a declaratory suit will lie and that they need not sue for possession, then the burden lies on the plaintiffs to prove their claim. As the defendant is admittedly in possession and except for the fact that the plaintiffs claim that he is in possession of their behalf the plaintiffs are out of possession, they must prove that the defendant is in possession on their behalf. The only way in which the plaintiffs can do that is by showing that the properties in suit are wakf property.

The founder of the wakf has the power to appoint the first mutawalli, and to lay down a scheme for the administration of the trust and for succession to the office of mutawalli. He may nominate the successors by name, or indicate the class together with their qualifications, from whom the mutawalli may be appointed, and may invest the mutawalli with power to nominate a successor after his death or relinquishment of office.

If any person appointed as mutawalli dies, or refuses to act in the trust, or is removed by the Court, or if the office if mutawalli otherwise becomes vacant, and there is no provision in the deed of wakf regarding succession to the office, a new mutawalli may be appointed.

A mutawalli has no power to grant a lease of wakf property, if it be agricultural, for a term exceeding three years, and, if non-agricultural, for a term exceeding one year.

A mutawaIli is not allowed to sell, mortgage or lease the wakf property unless he obtains permission of Court which has the general powers controlling the actions of mutawalli. Save and except as recognized by any custom, the law does not favor the right to act as mutawalli becoming heritable.

A mutawalli has no right to transfer the office to another, but he may appoint deputies or agents to assist him in the administration of the wakf. The wakf, however, who is himself the first mutawalli, can resign his office during his own lifetime and appoint another mutawalli

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