1. This appeal arises out of a suit brought by the next reversioner and his assignee of a portion of his reversion any rights in the property in suit which originally belonged to one Beni Prasad.
2. The circumstances under which plaintiff No. 1 comes to sue as next reversioner, and the array of parties, are fully and accurately detailed in the lower Court's judgment. A genealogical table has been annexed to the plaint which gives the relationship of the various branches of the family of which Beni Prasad was a separated member.
3. The case for the plaintiffs is that Beni Prasad died in 1853 leaving surviving him two widows, Musammat Latkan Koer who died in 1835, and Musammat Bijai Koer who, the plaintiffs assert, died on the 21st of January 1904. The alienations in suit which it is sought to contest are described in the schedule annexed to the plaint and were made by Musammat Bijai Koer under circumstances which will afterwards be stated, in the year 1873.
4. Broadly put, the claim of the plaintiffs is that these alienations were made by Musammat Bijai Koer without legal necessity and were inoperative after her death, and that they, as the next reversioners, are entitled to resume possession of them from the hands of the persons in whose possession they now are.
5. The suit was filed in the Court of the learned Subordinate Judge of Ghazipur on the 17th of March 1913. At that time the estate of one of the defendants was under the Court of Wards and accordingly a notice as required by Section 54 of Act IV of 1912 of the Local Council, was left at the office of the late Mr. Fox who was the General Manager of the estate under the charge of the Collector of Ghazipur. This notice was left at the office of Mr. Fox on the 17th of January 1916. According to Section 54 the period of two months which is required under that section may be taken into account so as to extend the ordinary period of limitation fixed for suite. It was stated in the plaint that Musammat Bijai Koer died on the 21st of January 1904. It is, therefore, clear that excluding the two months under Section 54, the suit was filed practically on the very last day of limitation, which is in such cases, 12 years from the date of the death of the widow.
6. Various defenses were raised to this suit. We need only consider three. First, that the notice as given did not fulfil the requirements of the Act and, therefore, was inoperative to extend the time; secondly, that as a matter of fact Musammat Bijai Koer did not die on the 21st of January 1904 but at an earlier date; and thirdly, on the merits, that the alienations made by Bijai Koer were justified under Hindu Law as having been made for legal necessity.
7. The learned Subordinate Judge found all these points against the plaintiffs and dismissed the suit.
8. The plaintiffs come here in appeal and these are the three substantial pleas which they have taken.
9. With regard to the first plea as to the sufficiency of the notice, the learned Subordinate Judge held that under Section 54 of the Act it was necessary that the notice should have been given to the Collector of Ghazipur. A notice to the Special Manager cannot be treated as a good notice as required by law'. On this point we are not prepared to accept the view taken by the lower Court. What Section 54 requires is that notice in writing should be delivered to or left at the office of the Collector or other person in charge of the property. It is an admitted fact that the late Mr. Fox was the Special Manager in immediate subordinate charge of the estate in the Ghazipur district under the Collector of the district and we are satisfied that the notice, otherwise perfectly valid, was properly delivered to or left at the office of the Collector within the meaning of the section when it was taken to and left at the office of the Special Manager.