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Guardian and Ward Act In India
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Guardian and Ward Act In India
Guardian and Ward Act In India
The Guardians and Wards Act is Central legislation enacted by the Parliament in the year 1890 with a view to protect the interests of the minor and to grant security to the minor himself and the property of the minor. The Act is of universal application irrespective of the religion dealing with guardianship of children.
A guardian is someone who gets appointed to take care of the minor himself or property of that person or both. The protected individual, known as the ward, is considered legally incompetent of acting for himself or herself; examples are a child or individuals suffering from a severe illness.
The question of guardianship most commonly arises in the households where there is an issue of parental abuse, negligence, drug dependency, divorce or death (in which case, custody is generally vested in one parent).
The Act aims to define a Guardian and a minor legally, it lays down a procedure for filing a case, manner in which the guardian can be appointed,  the manner to list down the property of the minor in relation to this act. These terms are more specifically described below:
Who is a Minor, Guardian, and a Ward:- 
  1. "Minor" means a person who, under the provisions of the Indian Majority Act, 1875 (9 of 1875) is to be deemed not to have attained his majority. 
  2. "Guardian" means minor for whose person or property or both there is a guardian. 
  3. "Ward" means a minor for whose person or property or both there is a guardian.
Where can you file the case? 
For the Guardianship of a minor, the case should be filed before the District Court within the jurisdiction where the minor resides, or the place where the child has its property.
If the case of guardianship of the property of a minor is filed before the district court, not within the jurisdiction where the minor resides, the court has a right to return the application or to dispose of the same.
The Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 is a law to replace other rules relating to the guardianship of a minor. It is the only non-religious universal law for the guardianship of a child; It applies to all children despite any difference in caste, creed or race. 
As per the act, a minor is any person who has not completed 18 years of his age. The court and the appointed authority can decide the guardian of a child by selecting the one. No order can be passed without making an application. The application contains all information about the child/minor and reasons for guardianship. Once the court admits the form, then the hearing date is set by the court. The court will hear evidence before making a decision. A minor and his property may have more than one guardian. The court must work in the interest of the minor, taking into consideration the age, sex, religion, character of the guardian, the death of the parent(s) and also the relation of the guardian with a child. The court always considers the preference of the minor. 
The collector of the district within the jurisdiction of minor resides can appoint the guardian of the child. Guardians are not allowed to make a profit, but they can receive remuneration as the court seems fit. One minor cannot be deemed as a guardian of another. A guardian is responsible for the education, health and support of the ward.
Guardians who intend to move the child out of the court's jurisdiction may only do so with the permission of the court. Failure to get approval before moving the child is a punishable offence under this Act. A guardian of a minor’s property is not allowed to mortgage or sell the property of a ward without the permission of minor or the court who must act in the interest of the child.
The guardian must submit the list of ward's immovable and movable property to the court.  The court can allow the guardian of minor to use funds from the property or use the whole property for the maintenance of the minor. A court can remove a guardian for abusing the trust of the court and not performing his role as a proper guardian. A person who intends not to act as a guardian of a minor can apply to the court for the discharge of his duty. 
It is a punishable offence if the guardian fails to produce the property, or if he fails to produce the child before the court when ordered or if he fails to produce an account of the property of the minor. 
Reports submitted by the subordinates of court or collector can be considered as evidence. Such orders can be appealed in a High Court.

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