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Report No. 83

4.7. Section 4(2)-Whether justistic person can be 'guardian'.-

Comments in somewhat greater detail are needed in section 4(2), which defines "guardian" as a person having the care of the persons of a minor or of his property or of both his person and property. The question has arisen whether one other than a natural person can be appointed as a guardian. The Calcutta view on the subject is that a charitable society cannot be appointed as a guardian.1 According to this view, the definition of "person" in section 3(42) of the General Clauses Act, 1897 becomes inapplicable in view of certain provisions of the Act of 1890-such as, sections 43 and 45.

The Calcutta case has been dissented from by one Court.2

We are of the view that the Court should have a power to appoint a juristic person as a guardian subject to certain safeguards. The point is proposed to be considered further3 in a subsequent Chapter.

1. (a) Ashalata v. Society for Protection of Children in India, AIR 1930 Cal 397; (b) M.C. Sweoney v. Arbithnot, AIR 1931 Cal 563.

2. Lakshman Singh v. State, AIR 1955 VP 3 (4), para. 5 (Jagat Narayan, JC.) (Registered society).

3. See discussion relating to section 18A, infra.

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

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