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Report No. 83

7.5. Observations in Madras case.-

The following observations of Sadasiva Aiyar J. in a Madras case1 are pertinent in this context:-

"I am very doubtful whether a minor can at all be the managing member of a Hindu family, though he is the senior male member. 'Guardian' in section 21 is evidently intended to include the guardianship of both person and property. It does seem anomalous that a minor could be the guardian of the person of his wife and children, that is entitled to the custody of their person and the management of their properties, while his own person is subject to the custody of the legal guardian of his person, and (while) his properties are under the management of the legal guardian of his properties.

But this particular section 21 cannot, in my opinion, be held to derogate from the rights of the legal guardian of a minor's own person. I might venture to suggest that the Legislature should amend section 21 by omitting the portion following 'child or' and by confining the rights of a minor guardian over his wife and child to the control of their persons so far as it is necessary to exercise his conjugal right and the right of fondling his child, so that he might have no power to interfere with the management of their properties and so that the guardianship of their properties might be vested in the guardian of his own properties."

Some High Courts have taken the view2 that a minor can be a managing member of a Hindu undivided family.

1. Ibrahim v. Ibrahim, AIR 1917 Mad 612 (615).

2. (a) Timbak Raoji v. Lonkaran, AIR 1948 Nag 324;

(b) Budh Java v. Dhoben Naik, AIR 1958 Ori 7;

(c) Mulla Hindu Law, (1974), p. 974.

The Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 and Certain Provisions of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 Back

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