Guardianship related laws in India – UPSC Prelims

Guardianship related laws in India:
  • Laws governing guardianship in India are:
    • Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, (HMGA) 1956
    • Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application Act, 1937
  • Both these acts recognize the father as the natural guardian of the child even as they provide the custody of a young child to a mother.
  • The fact that guardianship rests primarily with the father in the law ensures that mothers are perceived as caregivers, but not as decision makers for children.
  • The Supreme Court’s landmark judgment in Githa Hariharan v. Reserve Bank of India in 1999 provides partial relief in this respect. In this case, the HMGA was challenged for violating the guarantee of equality of sexes under Article 14 of the Constitution of India.