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Report No. 110

6.10. Right to be given to mother also.-

While section 22 contemplates approval of proposed settlement by the father, it is totally silent as to the right of the mother in this regard. The result is that if the father is dead or absent or under a disability, an application under the section must necessarily be made to the High Court. Having regard to present day notions, we are of the view that the section should be amended, so as to provide that if the father is dead or absent from India or under disability, the mother can approve of the settlement of the minor's property.

Accordingly, we recommend that section 22(1) should be revised as under:

Re-draft of section 22(1)

"(1) The property of a minor may be settled in contemplation of marriage, provided the settlement is made by the minor-

(a) with the approbation of the minor's father, or

(b) if the father is dead or absent from India or under disability, with the approbation of the minor's mother, or

(c) if both the father and the mother are dead or absent from India or under disability, with the approbation of the High Court."

6.10A. Section 22-a suggestion to substitute "either parent" considered.-

We note that in an article1 published in the Statesman which is written by way of comment on the Law Commission's Working Paper on the subject, the writer has suggested that in section 22, for the word "father", the words "either parent" should be substituted. She adds: "It need no longer be presumed that all mothers are incapable of deciding issues like property. They must be given the same right as fathers to act in this matter." If this suggestion is accepted2, the relevant portion of section 22 would read as under:-

"The property of a minor may be settled in contemplation of marriage, provided "the settlement is made by the minor with the approbation of either parent of the minor."

We have considered the suggestion carefully. We must, however, note that the section is, in a way, linked up with the general law of guardianship of property of minors, as applicable to those to whom section 22 applies (broadly speaking, persons other than Hindus, Sikhs, Buddhists, Joins and Muslims). It would not be correct to view this part of the section in isolation from that general law. The limited amendment that we ourselves are recommending in the section would take care of hard cases.

It would not be feasible to go further, having regard to the integral link of the section with the law of guardianship as pointed out above. We should record here that the fact that we are not going further should not be taken as implying that we regard mothers as less capable, than fathers, of looking after the proprietary affairs of their children.

1. Shahnaz Anklesaria Laws which discriminate against women, (20 June, 1984) Statesman p. 6.

2. This concerns para. 6.10.



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