1. The Act (XXXV of 1858) declares that when a person possessing such property is adjudged to he of unsound mind and incapable of managing his affairs, the Court of Wards 'shall be authorised to take charge of the estate' and that 'in all other cases' except as otherwise thereinafter provided, the Civil Court shall appoint a manager of the estate. The Act, it will ho observed, does not render it imperative on the Court of Wards to take charge of the estate, but merely confers on the Court of Wards authority to do so. Similarly, the 194th section of Act XIX. of 1873 includes lunatic landholders among disqualified persons, and the 195th section of the same Act declares the Court of Wards competent in its discretion to assume or refrain from assuming the superintendence of the person or property of any disqualified person. If, as has been contended, we are to construe the 9th section of Act XXXV of 1858 as conferring on the District Court no authority to appoint a manager of the estate of a lunatic landholder, it follows that, where the Court of Wards abstains from exercising the authority conferred on it and taking charge of the estate, the property of the lunatic will be left unprotected. In our judgment this could not have been the intention of the Legislature, and the language of the Act admits of a reasonable construction which would avoid the anomaly. We consider that the term 'in all other cases' applies not only to cases in which no part of the estate would subject the lunatic to the superintendence of the Court of Wards, but also to cases in which the Court of Wards, having authority to assume the superintendence of the property, has not exercised that power. Ordinarily, before appointing a manager in such cases, the District Judge should allow the Court of Wards an opportunity to declare its election, but we can conceive cases in which it may ho essential for the protection of the estate that a manager should he at once appointed, and if subsequently the Court of Wards assumed superintendence, the appointment made by the Judge would thereupon be annulled.
2. In the case before us it is not suggested that the Court of Wards has assumed charge of the estate, and we hold that the appointment by the Judge remains valid and entitles the manager to maintain this suit and to verify the plaint.