1. On Mr. U.S. Bajpai's application for the admission of this appeal Dr. Katju was present, and though he had no locus standi to intervene, this Court premitted him to do so in order that this matter, which is one of extreme urgency, could be discussed by both parties. The application for admission is to set aside an order passed by Mr. Plowden, wherein he permitted the marriage of Ram Piari to take place tomorrow, 11th July. Dr. Katju's point is that from such an order there is no appeal. He called our attention to Section 47(i), Guardians and Wards Act (Act 8 of 1890) and he, having read that section, pointed out that it was only in respect of those matters specifically mentioned in Section 47 in which there was a right of appeal, and he said that a perusal of Section 47 would disclose that none of these subsections were applicable to the appeal before the Court. Our attention was drawn by Mr. U.S. Bajpai to Section 47(i), which refers back to Section 43, which states that an appeal shall lie to the High Court from an order made by the District Judge when, under Section 43, he is regulating the conduct or proceedings of a guardian. Now the question at once arises on the reading of Section 43, whether what the District Judge was doing, when he authorised the guardian to celebrate the marriage, was a regulation of conduct or proceedings on the part of the guardian To our minds, it is perfectly clear what is meant. One of the duties of a guardian is to provide a suitable bridegroom. Whatever he does in relation to that is either conduct or proceedings. If he interviews fathers, if he interviews prospective bridegrooms, or if he makes any decision on any matter in relation to the marriage, all of those things are part of his proceedings as a guardian. If he, for reasons which cannot be approved, endeavours to force upon his ward a man unsuitable, obviously, when he is doing that, he is conducting himself in the affair, and in common language if a guardian succeeded in bringing off a marriage of that kind, it would be-spoken of as 'bad conduct' on his part. Therefore, it is clear to us that this Court has the right to hear this appeal under the provisions of Section 47(i) lead with Section 43. We, therefore, hold that there is no force in the preliminary point which we have permitted Dr. Katju to take, and we now propose to admit the appeal.
2. Another very curious, and indeed serious, position has arisen in this matter. Mt. Ram Piari was the daughter of one Bhola Nath, who died in the year 1915. She had two sisters. Sambati and Bhagwati. Sambati married one Lakshmi Chand and Bhagwati married one Ram Sarup. Sambati and Bhagwati are both dead, and Ram Pirai at this moment is a young woman, who has property which is spoken of as in the neighbourhood of Rs. 60,000/-; it may in fact be more. When Bhola Nath died in 1915, the property of Mt. Ram Piari was looked after by Rai Bahadur Lala Debi Das, and-Ram Piari began to live with her elder sister, Mt. Sambati, who was married to Lakshmi Chand. In the year 1921, the time had arrived when the question of this young girl's marriage should at least be considered. She was then about 8 years of age, and on 3rd August 1921, the District Judge appointed Sia Ram to be the guardian of the person of Mt. Ram Piari, and Ram Sarup, who had married her sister Bhagwati, to be the guardian of her property. Sia Ram is the father of Lakshmi Chand, who had married Sambati. There wore various applicants for the hand of this young girl some of whom may perhaps be thought to have been attracted by her money, and they were Ram Sarup, who had married Bhagwati and who is a widower, one Mandhata and Lakshmi Chand, also a widower, the son of Sia Ram. On 25th November 1928, a committee of five persons was appointed, consisting of Debi Das, Janki Prasad, Shiv Lal, Thakur Das and Mool Chand, and the District Judge was prepared to accept their decision as final subject to an overriding right on his part to object to any candidate on moral, material or medical grounds. That was a sensible order. The committee did not come to a unanimous decision, three 'being in favour of Mandhata, one in favour of Ram Sarup and the fifth member of the Committee, Janki Prasad, was neutral in the matter. In these circumstances and having regard to a very strong order and very proper order, which had been passed on 6th September 1927, with regard to the physical condition of Mandhata by reason of his father having leucoderma, the District Judge said that ho could not receive any help from this committee, and he directed Sia Ram, the guardian, to ascertain what proposals he could get for a reasonably good marriage for this relatively wealthy young girl. Sia Ram has produced 'Shiam Lal, and that has aroused considerable opposition. The matter came before the District Judge to approve of the marriage of Ram Piari with Shiam Lal and it was stated that Shiam Lal's father, by name Param Sukh, was suffering from leprosy. Thereupon, on 11th June 1929, Param Sukh submitted himself to the medical examination of Mr. Gurha then acting as Civil Surgeon of Sitapur. He gave a certificate stating that Param Sukh was suffering from leucoderma, which was not contagious or infectious, and that to the best of his knowledge this disease was not hereditary.
3. This medical certificate is open to objection on very many grounds. He does not state the extent of the disease from which Param Sukh is suffering, whether it is a matter of one or two spots or whether it has spread practically over the whole of the body. He does not set out the period of time during which Param Sukh has been a victim of this disease, and most important of all and what is much wanted is evidence whether any of the other brothers of Shiam Lal or Shiam Lal himself betray any indication of the disease being in an incipient state or being actually visible. That was the only evidence which Mr. Plowden had before him, and Mr. Gurha did not go into the witness-box. The appellants today apply for an injunction to restrain this marriage which is fixed for tomorrow. The opposition is simply and solely on the ground of health, and the appellants do not accept the suggestion that is implied in the statement of the Civil Surgeon, namely that this young girl will not be subject to any risk of contracting this disease if she marries Shiam Lal. They want that matter put to the test. We are of opinion that in view of the matters that have been mentioned to us by Mr. Bajpai particularly in relation to a brother of Shiam Lal, it is our absolute duty to step in at this stage and to pass an injunction restraining Shiam Lal from entering into any ceremony of marriage with Ram Piari on 11th July or at any other date, until this order is dissolved, and further to pass an injunction restraining Sia Ram,| the guardian, from taking any further steps in connexion with the said marriage or in any way prosecuting or advancing the same or permitting it or conniving at it We have explained to Shiam Lal, who is a lawyer, what would be the immediate consequence of any breach of this injunction on his part and he is quite sensible about the matter and realises that this marriage cannot take place until after proper enquiries have been made. Now what we propose to do is this. Shiam Lal is well able to appreciate the position exactly. We have a duty towards this young girl and it is a duty of protection Shiam Lal is to decide within ten days and to communicate that decision of his to the Registrar whether he will abandon all thoughts of this marriage or whether he is prepared to assist at an enquiry which this Court will hold. The assertion of the appellants is that Shiam Lal on medical grounds is not a fit bridegroom for this young girl. Shiam Lal is at perfect liberty to contest this point, and it will be contested if Shiam Lal says that he wishes it to be contested. The procedure, if Shiam Lal wants this matter decided, will be as follows. Param Sukh has five sons, Bansidhar, Bulaqi, Ram Lal, Shiam Lal and Sri Ram. Param Sukh with his five sons must come to Allahabad at a date to be fixed and Param Sukh and his five sons must submit themselves to be medically examined by two doctors whom this Court will nominate at the appropriate time, and those doctors, having made a sufficient medical examination, will then go into the witness box and each give his experiences and his views of the medical history of Param Sukh and the degree of health of all of the five brothers, and generally inform the Court as to the nature of leucoderma.
4. It appears that Shiam Lal has seen Ram Piari, and it may be necessary, as she is a girl of fifteen years of age, for the Court to invite some lady to see her and ascertain her views. This may be necessary, because Sia Ram has apparently obtained a letter from her under circumstances which Mr. Uma Shankar Bajpai would like to be examined into a little further. However, for the moment the matter that is before Shiam Lal is this. An injunction has been passed restraining him from marrying Ram Piari, either on 11th July or on any future date, until further order, and now he has got ton days within which to consult his brothers and father in order to see whether they are willing to submit themselves to the test which we think alone will give a satisfactory result. We have mentioned two doctors, but we may not indeed limit it to two and may have to choose three. Let notice of this injunction be personally served on Sia Ram, the guardian. A notice of this injunction must also, of course, be served personally upon Shiam Lal, but he has taken notice of it, having been in Court throughout the whole of its delivery and is, indeed, at this moment present in the Court. Let a copy of this be sent to the District Judge as well.