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Report No. 83

4.10. Section 4 of Act, 1956 and its inter-relationship with Act of 1890.-

In the Act of 1956, section 4(b) defines a guardian as under:

"4. In this Act-

(b) 'guardian' means a person having care of the person of a minor or of his property or of both his person and property, and includes

(i) a natural guardian;

(ii) a guardian appointed by the will of the minor's father or mother;

(iii) a guardian appointed or declared by a court; and

(iv) a person empowered to act as such by or under any enactment relating to any court of wards."

It will be noticed that the Act ,of 1956 does not specifically include a de facto guardian in section 4(b) quoted above, though the words "having the care" seem to cover de facto guardians. A controversy has arisen as to whether, as regards Hindus, the definition in section 4(2) of the Act of 18901 would cover de facto guardians. The Bombay High Court has answered the question in the affirmative.2 The Kerala High Court3 however, takes a different view.

1. Para. 4.7, supra.

2. Ratan v. Bishan, AIR 1978 Born 190 (P.S. Shah, J.).

3. Ramchandra v. Annapurni Ammal, AIR 1964 Ker 269.

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

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