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Present: Lascelles C.J. and Ennis J.
TJDT7MA LEBBE v. UDUMA LEBBE.
109—D. C. Puttalam, 1.
Lunatic-—“ Of unsound mind and incapable of managing his affairs ”—Appointment of manager of estate— -Civil Procedure Code, chapterXXXIX., s. 555.
For the purposes of the appointment of a manager of the estate,and the further orders which can be made under chapter XXXIX*of the Civil Procedure Code, it is not necessary to prove completeinsanity rendering the alleged lunatic incapable of looking afterhimself. It is sufficient to show that he is so far unsound in mindas to be incapable of managing his affairs.
'JpHE facts are set out in the judgment.
Sampayo, K.C., for appellant.
van Langenberg, K.C., for respondent.
Cur. adv. vult.
October 16, 1912. Lascelles C.J.—
This is an appeal from a finding of the District Judge, on aninquiry held under chapter XXXIX. of the Civil Procedure Code,that the appellant is of unsound, mind and incapable of managinghis affairs.
The appellant is admittedly a person of limited mental powers,but it is contended that his mental deficiency does not amount toimbecility. The question is, therefore, one of degree, which must bedecided by reference to the ordinary standard of human intelligence.
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During the argument there was some discussion as to the meaningof the words ** of unsound mind and incapable of managing hisaffairs ” in the definition of the term “ lunatic ” in section 555 ofIdie Civil Procedure Code. But I think it was conceded that inorder to find the appellant a “ lunatic ” it was necessary to findthat he was afflicted with mental unsoundness, and that by reasonof that unsoundness he was disabled from managing his affairs.
Whether regard be had to the medical evidence, to the evidenceafforded by the appellant's conduct, or to his personal examinationat the inquiry under section 560, the result is the same. Theevidence that the appellant is and has been for some time in a state,of imbecility is, in my opinion, overwhelming. No good purposewould be served by going through this evidence in detail, and Iwill only refer generally to the evidence under the three headswhich I have mentioned.
With regard to the medical evidence, the appellant was underthe observation of Dr. Thomasz in March, 1911. (in connection withanother case), and Dr. Thomasz was then of opinion that he wasan idiot, Having had an opportunity of observing the appellantduring the inquiry, Dr. Thomasz adhered to this opinion. Dr.Santiago's evidence, so far as it goes, corroborates that of Dr.Thomasz. On the other hand, the learned District Judge refusedto* believe the evidence of Dr. Rosairo, and counsel for the appellantdid not ask us to rely on it. The medical evidence is thus all onone side.
The evidence afforded by the appellant’s conduct is analysedby the District Judge. It shows that the appellant had signedpromissory notes, mortgages, and transfers of property in the mostreckless manner. During the three years preceding June, 1911,he raised Rs. 43,000 on promissory notes and mortgages. Thereis no evidence as to what was done with this money,, or whether anyconsiderable proportion of it ever reached the appellant’s hands.Within a period of about six months the appellant gave away orotherwise alienated land of the estimated value of about a lac ofrupees. I do not think it advisable! to comment on these transfers,as it is not improbable that their validity may be the subject offurther proceedings. But here again there are grave reasons fordoubting whether the appellant received anything approaching toan adequate consideration for this property.
The personal examination of the appellant affords the strongestevidence of his mental incapacity.
Although bom in a good position, he has been unable to learn howto write and read. He cannot count beyond ten. He did not knowhow many 25-cent pieces made a rupee. He was not aware thathe had sold the whole of the very valuable land Kalladimavaditotam,but thought that, on the expiration of a lease, the property wouldbe his. He appears to have made over the rent of the whole of
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his property to his uncle, the Udaiyar, who supplied him with whathe wanted. Generally he appears to have been in complete ignor-ance of the particulars of the property which he has alienated. Inthe opinion of the District Judge the demeanour, manner of speech,and appearance of the appellant were those of a person who wasmentally defective*
Against this evidence there was nothing to show that the appel-lant, by his conduct or by any action, had given proof that hepossessed the reasoning powers of an ordinary human being. It wassaid that he was married three times, and that it was incredible thatrespectable fathers would allow their daughters to marry theappellant if he had been imbecile*
The force of this argument obviously depends upon the characterof the fathers, and to the extent to which the wealth of the appel-lant may have been considered to be a compensation for his mentaldeficiencies. It is also said that Mr. Senathirajah would not haveattested the deeds which were executed by the appellant in settle-ment of the claim in action No. 2,211, but it must be rememberedthat Mr. Senathirajah himself put in a plea of idiotcy on behalf ofthe appellant in another Action. But considerations of this natureare of no avail against the positive evidence that the appellant isof unsound mind so as to be incapable of managing his property
While I agree with the finding of the District Judge as to themental unsoundness of the appellant, I am by no means satisfiedthat the respondent is a proper person to be appointed manager ofthe appellant’s estate. He appears to be a nephew of the appellant,and to be a youth of about twenty-one years of age. He himselfattested two promissory notes given by the appellant for Rs. 12,000,and there is nothing to show that he is a suitable person to beentrusted with the management of the appellant’s estate.
would set aside the judgment of the District Court so far as itappoints the respondent the manager of the appellant’s estate, anddirect the District Judge, after further inquiry, to appoint someperson who is qualified to manage and protect the appellant’sestate. It is highly desirable that some person should be selectedwho is not connected with the persons who have been exploitingthe appellant’s property. Subject to this modification, I woulddismiss the appeal with costs.
This is an appeal from an order under chapter XXXIX. of theCivil Procedure Code appointing a manager of the estate of oneKader Saibo Marikar, found after inquiry to be of unsound mind andincapable of managing his affairs.
The appeal is presented against the finding and against thepetitioner’s appointment as manager.
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The District Court found that the respondent-appellant was incap-able of managing his affairs, and from this fact and Dr. Thomasz’sexpert opinion found that the respondent was of unsound mind.
I can find nothing in the evidence to lead me to the conclusionthat, this finding is incorrect. It appears that the respondent is notonly incapable of managing his affairs* but is so deficient in hismental capacity as to be incapable of managing the slightest thing,although he does not suffer from delusions, neither is he insane.He was examined by the District Court, and that examination fullybears out the opinion of Dr. Thomasz and the finding of the Court.It appears he did not know how many 25-cent pieces went to arupee; he said he did not know what it was to borrow money; that henever received any; he was not aware that he ever had an estate of500 acres which he had mortgaged, neither did he appear to be awarethat he borrowed sums amounting to Rs. 43,000. He is conscious ofhaving signed some documents, but appeared to think that the landdealt with was still his property and was all coming back to him.
For the appellant, it has been urged that the general bearingtowards him should be taken into account; that he had marriedthree times; and that the deeds executed by him were all executedby notaries of standing, and witnessed by those who would not haveassisted in the transaction had the man been insane.
It is significant, however, that the appellant’s present wife hasnot been called, and that in two cases arising out of the transactionsof the appellant a plea of insanity was inserted in the answer as adefence to the actions, which answers were signed by two of theproctors who were witnesses to the deeds executed by the appellantboth for and after the actions.
The reasons very fully given by the District Judge are irresistible,that the respondent was through imbecility, of mind quite incapableof managing his affairs; and for the purposes of the appointment ofa manager of the estate, and the further orders which can be madeunder chapter XXXIX. of the Code, it was not necessary to provecomplete insanity rendering the alleged lunatic incapable of lookingafter himself. It is sufficient to show that he was so far unsound inmind as to be incaphble of managing his affairs, a principle whichseems to be borne out in the cases cited in Mews Digest 566, andthe principle is enunciated in Lord Halsbury’s Lctivs of England 406.
With regard to the question whether the petitioner is the properperson to be appointed manager of the estate, I think the DistrictCourt should make further inquiry to find a person to manage itwho has not Been in receipt of property at the hand of the respond-ent. It is clear that the petitioner has been benefited by therespondent’s liberality towards him.
I would affirm the finding of the District Court, and send the caseback for a further inquiry as indicated above.