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CIVIL RESPONSIBILITY 389
of transfer relative to any sale, mortgage or other disposition of his estate
as the Court may order. If it is subsequently reported to the Court that
the unsoundness of mind for which the control of the lunatic's estate was
taken away from his hands has ceased, the Court may order a second
inquiry, and, on being satisfied that the lunacy has ceased, will order all
proceedings in the lunacy to cease or to be set aside on such terms and
conditions as may seem fit.
Chapter V is applicable to persons not subject to the jurisdiction of any
of the High Courts of the Presidency-towns, and provides that the District
Court within whose jurisdiction an alleged lunatic is residing may, upon an
application made by any relative of the alleged lunatic or any public curator
appointed under the Succession (Property Protection) Act, 1&41, or by the
Government Pleader, or by the District Collector on behalf of the Court of
Wards, direct an inquisition for the purpose of ascertaining whether such
person is of unsound mind and incapable of managing himself and his affairs.
If the alleged lunatic resides at a distance of more than fifty miles from the
place where the District Court is held to which the application is made, the
said Court may issue a commission to any subordinate Court to conduct the
inquisition. After the inquiry, if it is satisfactorily proved that the alleged
lunatic is of unsound mind, and is incapable of managing his affairs, the
Court may appoint a manager of the estate of the lunatic and a guardian of
his person on the same terms and conditions as are mentioned in Chapter
IV. But the manager has to submit an inventory of the estate belonging
to the lunatic within six months from the date of his appointment and has to
furnish an annual account of the income and expenditure within three
months of the close of the year of the era current in the district. If any
relative of the lunatic, or the Collector by petition to the Court impugns the
accuracy of such inventory or account, the Court may hold a summary
inquiry into the matter, or refer such petition to any subordinate Court or
to the Collector if the manager was appointed by the Collector. The District
Court has power to remove a manager for any sufficient cause, and compel
him to make over the property and to furnish accounts to any other person
appointed in his place. The District Court may impose a fine not exceeding
five hundred rupees on the manager, if he wilfully neglects or refuses to
deliver his accounts or any property in his hands within the time fixed by
the Court. The District Court is also authorized, as in Chapter IV, to hold
a second inquiry when it is reported that the lunacy has ceased.
Contracts.—Under section 12 of the Indian Contract Act (Act IX of
1872) a contract is invalid, if one of the parties at the time of making it was,
by reason of insanity, incapable of understanding it, and forming a rational
judgment as to its effect upon his interests.
A lunatic, however, is responsible for the payment of necessaries
purchased by him in accordance with his social position and status, it being
immaterial whether the vendor knew his condition or not; but he is not
responsible, if the order is grossly extravagant and beyond his means, or if
the vendor has taken advantage of the fact of his insanity in selling those
necessaries to him. Again, a person who is usually of unsound mind, but
occasionally of sound mind, may make a contract when he is of sound mind.
While a person who is usually of sound mind, but occasionally of unsound
mind, may not make a contract when he is of unsound mind.
In a case where a person becomes lunatic after he has contracted to sell
or otherwise dispose of his estate or any part thereof, the Court may direct
the fulfilment of the contract, if it appears to the Court that the contract is
such as ought to be performed. The Court may also order the dissolution
of the partnership of a firm, if one of the partners is -found to be a lunatic
(vide sections 51 and 52, Act IV of 1912).