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Report No. 83

6.45. Modem sociological developments and their relevance.-

This difference in approach is understandable. The Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 was enacted 90 years ago. At the time of its enactment women had scarcely any rights for them; there were only social and legal degradation, material insecurity and other manifestations of the dominance and false superiority of man. That is why the Act of 1890 lays an emphasis on the preferential claims of the father or male member in the matter of appointment of guardian of minors.1 The Act of 1956 marks a distinct progress in this respect.

There is another matter in respect of which the Act of 1956 marks a progress. Recognising the advance in the status of women in all spheres and changed concepts as to child welfare, that Act has given women the right of guardianship (after the father) and also provided that the mother should ordinarily have the custody of the minor child till the age of five. More important is the provision of the Act which has made the welfare of the minor the paramount consideration in the appointment of guardian,2 though it has kept intact the concept of "minor's welfare" as adumbrated in section 17 of the Act of 1890, without spelling it out for its own purposes.

1. Section 19.

2. Section 13, Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956.

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

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