District Judge in certain cases to take charge of property of deceased persons, and to report to Administrator General
54. (1) Whenever any person, other than an exempted person, dies leaving assets within the limits of the jurisdiction of a District Judge, the District Judge shall report the circumstance without delay to the Administrator General [* * *] stating the following particulars so far as they may be known to him:-
(a) the amount and nature of the assets,
(b) whether or not the deceased left a will and, if so, in whose custody it is,
(c) the names and addresses of the surviving next-of-kin of the deceased, and, on the lapse of one month from the date of the death,
(d) whether or not any one has applied for probate of the will of the deceased or letters of administration of his estate.
(2) The District Judge shall retain the assets under his charge, or appoint an officer under the provisions of [the Succession Act, 1925
,] to take and keep possession of the same
until the Administrator General has obtained letters of administration, or until some other person has obtained probate or such letters or a certificate from the Administrator General under the provisions of this Act, when the assets shall be delivered over to the holder of such probate, letters of administrator or certificate:
Provided that the District Judge may, if he thinks fit, sell any assets which are subject to speedy and natural decay, or which for any other sufficient cause he thinks should be sold, and he shall thereupon credit the proceeds of such sale to the estate.
(3) The District Judge may cause to be paid out of any assets of which he or such officer has charge, or out of the proceeds of such assets or of any part thereof, such sums as may appear to him to be necessary for all or any of the following purposes, namely:
(a) the payment of the expenses of the funeral of the deceased and of obtaining probate of his will or letters of administration of his estate or a certificate under this Act,
(b) the payment of wages due for services rendered to the deceased within three months next preceding his death by any labourer, artizan or domestic servant,
(c) the relief of the immediate necessities of the family of the deceased, and
(d) such acts as may be necessary for the proper care and management of the assets left by the deceased,
and nothing [in the Succession Act, 1925
,] or in any other law for the time being in force with respect to rights of priority of creditors of deceased persons shall be held to affect the validity of any payment so caused to be made.