1. Mr. R.V.A. Stock died on 4th August 1928. He left a widow and a minor daughter. By his will dated 14th October 1927, he appointed Mr. H.L. Stringer executor. The estate consisted of Rs. 11,741-12-0-in the Provident Fund, about Ra. 700 realized from the sale of furniture and a sale of over Rs. 13,000 odd as Lee Commission dues. There were said to be other assets also the proceeds derived from the sale of a motor car and some balances outstanding in the Allahabad Bank Ltd., Calcutta and the Eastern Bank Ltd., Calcutta.
2. Mr. Stringer took over the duties of executor and made little or no attempt to carry out these duties. On 2nd February 1929, he applied in the Benares Court for probate and. that application was granted. On 4th November 1929 he came into the possession of Rupees 11,741-12-0 and in breach of his duty as executor he failed to invest it in any interest bearing security and it has in fact laid in the bank unproductive from 4th November 1929 until the date of our order passed on 4th January 1932.. On 30th August 1930 the probate granted by the Benares Court was revoked but that revocation did not in any way affect the antecedent duty of Mr. Stringer to invest the money that came into his hands. He applied to the High Court for probate which was granted on 9th February 1931. Mr. Stringer in a application of 8th December 1931, disclosed that there wore Rs. 14,608-8 0 deposited in the Imperial Bank of India, and Rs. 300 in the Post Office Savings Bank and upon inquiry it transpired that the large sum of Rs. 14,000 odd had been lying, as we have said, uninvested. We therefore passed the order of 14th December requiring Mr. Stringer to explain his position. He appeared before the Court on Monday 25th January 1932, and was perfectly frank about the matter. He said that he had no knowledge of business, and that the task of an executor was thankless and that he did not know he had to invest the money. The value of these replies was somewhat lessened by his stating in answer to a question that if he received a legacy of Rs. 11,000 he would at once go to the bank, obtain, advice, and invest the money in interest bearing securities. He agrees that on the very lowest showing the estate has lost at the least a sum of Rs. 1,000 by his negligence. He says that he has spent Rs. 200 on necessary journeys to Benares and elsewhere and giving him credit for this, the net result is that the estate, by his negligence, has lost Rs. 800. Logically, we should order him to make good to the estate every penny which has been lost to it through his negligence. No one is bound to become an executor but if he does accept the position he must act with the ordinary care and the prudence of a reasonable and diligent business man. As is said in Agnew's Law of Trust in British India, Edn. 2 at p. 163, he must make the fund productive, and in order to do this he must invest it in some form of security. If he fails to do this he will be liable for the consequent loss. The consequent loss here is at least Rs. 800, but as we are of opinion that Mrs. Stock ought to have interested herself in this matter and made inquiries, we limit the amount which Mr. Stringer must pay to the estate to Rs. 500. There is not of course the slightest suggestion that Mr. Stringer has been in any way dishonest but he has acted with great negligence and must make good his default.
3. There is a further question as to the failure of Mr. Stringer to collect the Lee Commission money. We think he has been negligent in this respect; and but for the fact that some delay may have been occasioned by the revocation of the Benares probate, we should have held him liable for this also.
4. We remove Mr. Stringer from the office of executor. Notice of this judgment is to be given to the Administrator-General who will then, in accordance with the rules, make application for letters of administration.
5. We order Mr. Stringer to pay to the Registrar on behalf of the estate the sum of Rs. 500 in monthly instalments of Rs. 50. The first instalment is to be paid on 1st day of April 1932 and the succeeding nine instalments on the 1st of each succeeding month. They are to be paid direct to the Registrar and if any one instalment is unpaid by the end of the 7th day of any one month, the whole amount then outstanding is thereupon immediately to become due and the Registrar is to put the case in. the list for an order to Mr. Stringer to show cause, why execution should not issue.
6. All sums of money received by the Registrar are to be paid over to the Administrator-General, who will, by 1st April 1932, have obtained from the Court the necessary formal order of appointment which is in consonance with the wishes of Mrs. Stock.