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Report No. 83

VI. Modern Developments

The position in 1953 was as follows1:-

"Subject to this fundamental principle (welfare of the child) an infant's father still remains his sole legal guardian during his (the father's) lifetime; but this fact, of course, adds little, if anything, to the father's primary position as a parent.

On the father's death, the infant's mother becomes, either sole guardian, or guardian jointly with a guardian appointed by the deed or will of the father, or, in default, by the Court. And, even during the father's lifetime, the mother has the same right to apply to the Court in respect of any matter affecting the infant as the father has, and an equal right to appoint by deed or will a guardian to act after her death as co-guardian with her surviving husband, or, if he is dead, the guardian appointed by him.

In the event of differences of opinion between the surviving parent and the guardian appointed by the deceased parent, the Court may award sole custody of the infant to either, as it may consider best for the welfare of the infant."

1. Jenks Book of English Law, (1953), pp. 229-230.

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

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