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R.P. David and ors. Vs. M. Thiagarajan and ors. - Court Judgment

LegalCrystal Citation
SubjectCivil
CourtChennai High Court
Decided On
Reported in(1970)1MLJ168
AppellantR.P. David and ors.
RespondentM. Thiagarajan and ors.
Cases ReferredGreenwood v. Bennett L.R.
Excerpt:
.....arc greenwood v. 393 of 1967 is concerned, the appellant, thyagarajan, cannot complain about the sum of..........in the lunacy proceedings to manage the estate of the said miss mary holwcll short, who was adjudged lunatic in the said o.p. no. 34 of 1959 district court, salem. the managers so appointed were not in a position to manage the estate and they considered it best to sell the same. miss alice edith short also agreed to convey her share to the person to whom the lunatic's share was to be sold, in order to secure the best available price. one david made the highest offer of rs. five lakhs within the time notified for making the offer and complied with the conditions of sale. but when the matter came up before the district court, one thiagarajan offered rs. 5,000 more than the offers made by david, and that was accepted by the learned district judge. aggrieved by this order, david filed.....
Judgment:

R. Sadasivam, J.

1. These connected Civil Miscellaneous Appeals arise out of the order of the District Judge, Salem in LA. No. 402 of 1962 and I.A.No. 383 of 1964 in O.P. No. 34 of 1959 in the lunacy proceedings in the matter of Miss Mary Holwall Short. A certain coffee estate called Riverdale Estate belonged to two sisters, the aforesaid Miss Mary Holwcll Short, the lunatic and Miss Alice Edith Short. G.F. Muirhead and Rev. E.L. Poyser were appointed managers in the lunacy proceedings to manage the estate of the said Miss Mary Holwcll Short, who was adjudged lunatic in the said O.P. No. 34 of 1959 District Court, Salem. The managers so appointed were not in a position to manage the estate and they considered it best to sell the same. Miss Alice Edith Short also agreed to convey her share to the person to whom the lunatic's share was to be sold, in order to secure the best available price. One David made the highest offer of Rs. five lakhs within the time notified for making the offer and complied with the conditions of sale. But when the matter came up before the District Court, one Thiagarajan offered Rs. 5,000 more than the offers made by David, and that was accepted by the learned District Judge. Aggrieved by this order, David filed revision petitions in this Court in C.R.P.No. 1634 and 1635 of 1962 Jagadisan, J., set aside the orders of the District Judge and dismissed I.A.No. 401 of 1962 filed by Thyagarajan to accept his offer and directed I.A. 402 of 1962 to be restored to the file and ordered the District Judge, to hold an enquiry as required under Section 75 (2) of the Indian Lunacy Act and if he is satisfied that the market value of the estate is substantially more than Rs. 5 lakhs, to give further directions to the managers of the estate of the lunatic either to call for fresh offers or to hold a public auction. In pursuance of the said order, the District Judge made an enquiry and passed an order on 27th December, 1963 and adjourned the application to enable the managers, to give further particulars about the offers that might be available. David has preferred C.M.A. No. 391 of 1967 complaining that the learned District Judge has failed to give importance to the circumstance that the Managers made their application in LA. No. 402 of 1962 on 18th August, 1962 to accept his offer of five lakhs and stood by it even after Thiagarajan's offer of Rs. 5,000 more had been made to Court. This garajan has filed C.M.A. No. 392 of 1967 alleging that the Court has jurisdiction under the Lunacy Act only over the property of the lunatic and the consent given by the non-lunatic sister will not confer jurisdiction on the Court to deal with her property. In C.M.A. 393 of 1967 one of the managers of the lunatic seeks to revise the order of the District Judge in I.A. No. 383 of 1964 ordering refund of the sum of Rs. 2,25,000 deposited by Thiagarajan after retaining Rs. 27,500 out of it. According to the appellant in C.M.A. No. 393 of 1967, the entire amount of Rs. 2,52,500 should be retained as the said Thiagarajan has taken possession of the estate which was ordered to be sold and he has not surrendered possession of the same. Thiagarajan in his turn has filed C.M.A. No. 394 of 1967 objecting to the retention of the sum of Rs. 27,500 out of the amount deposited by him.

2. It is now brought to our notice that the lunatic died during the pendency of these C.M.As. and her sister has succeeded to the estate of the said lunatic. In view of this fact, the advocates appearing on both sides in these C.M.As. did not dispute the fact that the jurisdiction of the District Court under the Indian Lunacy Act has come to an end.

3. In RamaKomath v. C. L Lobo (1943) 1 M.L.J. 22 (2), it was held on a consideration of the provisions of the Lunacy Act that the right of action for a claim for rent the periods subsequent to the death of the lunatic would vest in the heir entitled to take the property after the death of the lunatic, and therefore the Court has no jurisdiction to sanction the institution of proceedings and the Manager has no right to maintain the suit after the death of the lunatic. The principle of the said decision is clearly supported by the passage at page 600 para. 1094 in Volume 29 of Halsbury's Laws of England 3rd Edition wherein it is stated that the proceedings in the Court of Protection are in general abated on the death of the patient. The Two English decisions which clearly affirm this principle arc Greenwood v. Bennett L.R. (1913) 2 Ch. D. 318, and In re Wheater L.R. (1928) 1 Ch.D. 223. In both these decisions it is pointed out that the jurisdiction of the Court in lunacy proceedings ceased on the death of the lunatic. There is nothing in the provisions of the Lunacy Act, which could enable the Court to continue the proceedings after the death of the lunatic. The District Court cannot then fore, deal with any offer that might have been made in pursuance of its order or sell the estate of the lunatic who is dead.

4. C.M.A. No. 391 and 392 of 1967 arc therefore liable to be dismissed, and they are hereby dismissed. C.M.A. No. 393 of 1967 is also liable to be dismissed as the manager of the lunatic or her estate has no locus standi to continue to represent the lunatic who is dead. So far as C.M.A. No. 393 of 1967 is concerned, the appellant, Thyagarajan, cannot complain about the sum of Rs. 27,500 being retained in pursuance of orders of the District Judge in O.P. No. 34 of 1959 so long as he has not redelivered possession of the estate which he took as a result of his depositing the amount into the Court. It is brought to our notice that David who claims to have subsequently purchased the entire estate from the surviving sister has filed suits O.S. Nos. 184 of 1966 and 76 of 1967, Sub-Court, Salem, impleading Thiagarajan among others to recover possessions of the estate and for accounts. The amount of Rs. 27,500 is ordered to be transferred to the credit of the said suits to be dealt with in the light of the decision in the said suits. C.M.A. No. 394 of 1967 is also dismissed. There will be no order as to costs.


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