1. This appeal arises out of a suit brought by the plaintiff, Umrao Singh, for a declaration that certain decrees which had been obtained against his mother as his guardian were not binding upon him. The suit was instituted in April 1912. The estate of the defendants was taken over by the Court of Wards in February 1913. The Court below made a decree in part in the plaintiff's favour on the 13th of May 1913. The Collector was never made a party to this suit and it is doubtful perhaps whether the decree was quite regular. It is, however, unnecessary to consider this point, having regard to the position which Mr. Ryves has taken up in the present appeal on behalf of the Court of Wards. When the Collector came to know of the decree of the Court below, he filed the present appeal against the decree. Mr. Ryves has stated at the outset that he waives any irregularity and that he is willing to argue the case on the merits, just as he would have done had the Collector been made a party and the decree had been regularly made against him. It appears clearly from the evidence and admitted facts that the father of the plaintiff, one Bahal Singh, was murdered leaving his widow and the plaintiff him surviving. One Parsa helped the widow against her adversaries. The supposed motive of the murder was to take possession of property which belonged to Bahal Singh. After the murder of Bahal Singh a suit had to be brought in the name of his minor son, which was fought right up to the High Court. The costs, which were allowed under the decree of the High Court, amounted to Rs. 793. It is clear that this does not at all represent the actual money that had to be expended in the course of that litigation alone. Besides this, however, there were mutation proceedings in the Revenue Court which were, apparently, contested. There was also a riot case in which undoubtedly money was expended. We have no doubt that money was also expended in connection with the prosecution of the murderer of Bahal Singh. It is in connection with the expenses that the money was borrowed on mortgages executed by the mother on behalf of the plaintiff as his guardian. Suits were brought on foot of these mortgages and decrees were obtained in 1909 and 1910. It is to set aside these decrees that the present suit is brought.
2. There are two aspects of the case. First as to whether the decrees obtained against the plaintiff with the widow as his guardian do not bind him. The widow was his natural and de facto guardian. Prima facie she was a fit and proper person to be his guardian ad litem in the proceedings in the Civil Court! She had no interest adverse to him. So far as the evidence goes, she had been most active in taking steps to protect the minor's property. If the decrees were fairly and properly obtained against the minor, as represented by his mother, then the decrees are binding and the Court ought not to go behind them. The only suggestion of the decrees being improper is that the widow did not defend the suits. The total amount borrowed was a sum of Rs. 2,100. The expenditure upon the matters to which we have already referred must have been very considerable. It is possible that if the widow had defended the suits brought on foot of the mortgages and put the plaintiff to strict proof of legal necessity for each and every item, she might, possibly, have succeeded in having some, small item struck out. Defending the suits would probably have cost much more than the item disallowed. In our opinion it is impossible io hold, under the circumstances of the present case, that the decrees, even thougli ex parte, were in any way improperly obtained. If this be so, it is quite unnecessary to go into the other matters and to Consider whether the defendants have been able, to show that there was legal necessity for every part of the consideration for the bonds. In our opinion the decree of the Court, below was erroneous and must be set aside.
3. We accordingly allow the appeal, set aside the decree of the Court below and dismiss the plaintiff's suit with costs in both Courts.