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Report No. 133

2.5. Guardians and Wards Act, 1890.-

We may now refer to the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890, which is of considerable importance when the matter comes before the court under that Act, particularly in the form of an application for custody. That Act, in section 7, provides that where the court is satisfied that it is for the welfare of the minor that an order should be made-(a) appointing a person to be guardian of his person or property or both, or (b) declaring a person to be such guardian, the court may make an order accordingly. Section 17(1) of that Act further provides that in appointing or declaring a guardian of a minor the court shall, subject to the provisions of that section, be guided by what, consistently with the law to which the minor is subject, appears in the circumstances, to be for the welfare of the minor.

Section 17(2) of that Act enunciates the factors which the court will take into account while considering the welfare of the minor. It is needless to state that when exercising jurisdiction under the Guardians and Wards Act, the court will give paramount importance to the welfare of the minor and not to any "right" of a person to act as a natural guardian of the minor.

Removal of Discrimination against Women in matters relating to Guardianship and Custody of Minor Children and elaboration of the Welfare Principle Back

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