Who is a Guardian?
Guardian is a person who has the care of the person of the minor or his property or both person & property. Since a minor cannot enter into a contract the Guardian should act on behalf of the minor but in the better interests of the minor. The Guardian should be a major. Guardians are of different types:
1. Natural Guardian.
2. Guardians appointed by Will by the parents of the minor, who are called testamentary guardians.
3. Guardians appointed by the Court.
4. Persons empowered to act as guardians by an enactment relating to any court of wards.
Natural Guardians of Hindu minor are his father and mother; Father is the natural guardian of boy or an unmarried girl. In the absence of the father, mother will be the natural guardian. But in case of minors who have not completed five years of age, mother will be the custodian.
In case of an illegitimate boy or illegitimate unmarried girl, the mother would be the natural guardian and thereafter the father. Illegitimate means the children born to unmarried parents. In case of a married girl, the husband would be the natural guardian. But such instances are very rare, since child marriage is prohibited.
Stepmother and stepfather cannot be natural guardians. Similarly, a person who has converted to another religion or one who has become a sanyasi or renounced the world cannot be a natural guardian.