Apex Law Journal
Apex Law Journal
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Editor

Neha Goel, Advocate

Advisory Board

S.C. Khunger, Advocate

Rohit Bansal, Advocate

Varinder Singh Kanwar, Advocate

Hittan Nehra, Advocate

Judgments on Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956

Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956

Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 — Section 6 read with Section 13 — In determining the question as to who should be given custody of a minor child, the paramount consideration is the ‘welfare of the child’ and not rights of the parents under a statute for the time being in force.     

 
Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956

Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 — Sections 6 and 13 — Simply because the father loves his children and is not shown to be otherwise undesirable does not necessarily lead to the conclusion that the welfare of the children would be better promoted by granting their custody to him — Merely because there is no defect in his personal care and his attachment for his children--which every normal parent has, he would not be granted custody — Children are not mere chattels nor are they toys for their parents — Absolute right of parents over the destinies and the lives of their children, in the modern changed social conditions must yield to the considerations of their welfare as human beings so that they may grow up in a normal balanced manner to be useful members of the society and the guardian court in case of a dispute between the mother and the father, is expected to strike a just and proper balance between the requirements of welfare of the minor children and the rights of their respective parents over them.  

 
Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956

Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 — Section 13 — Word ‘welfare’ — Held, the word ‘welfare’ used in Section 13 of the Act has to be construed literally and must be taken in its widest sense — The moral and ethical welfare of the child must also weigh with the Court as well as its physical well being — Though the provisions of the special statutes which govern the rights of the parents or guardians may be taken into consideration, there is nothing which can stand in the way of the Court exercising its parens patriae jurisdiction arising in such cases.

 
Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956

Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 — Section 6 — Submission of the learned counsel for the appellant-father that the child's education is of paramount importance and the father is spending good amount of money for providing him excellent education, and the mother does not have the financial affluence as the appellant claims to have — Held, this aspect can be taken care of if father is asked to pay the educational expenses of the child in addition to the maintenance being paid to the respondent — Respondent may not be as financially sound as the appellant but that alone cannot disentitle her from the custody of the child.

 
Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956

Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 — Section 6 — Contention of the appellant-father that since the child has been residing for the last seven years with him, the courts should not have directed handing over custody to the respondent — Held, not tenable — By flouting various orders, leading even to initiation of contempt proceedings, the appellant has managed to keep custody of the child — He can not be a beneficiary of his own wrongs — It is true that taking the child out of the father's custody may cause some problems, but that is bound to be neutralized — Order of High Court granting custody to the mother does not suffer from any infirmity.   

 
Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956

Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956 — Sections 6 and 13 — Large area of accommodation and financial affluence, held, cannot be a determinative factor while granting custody of the child.

 
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