How a woman’s dissent led to Indian mothers getting guardianship rights to their children

Upon discovering that he was not the natural guardian of his minor son, the acclaimed author Githa Hariharan decided to challenge the relevant sections of the Law, the Hindu Minority and Guardianship 1956 and the Guardians and Guardians Act, 1890 on the grounds that they violate The equality promised by Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution of India. In 1999, a resolution was passed, which indicates that, according to Hindu law, the mother can also be the guardian of her minor children. He responded at the trial.

On 17 February 1999, a Supreme Court court, including the Chief Justice of India, issued a judgment on mothers and children. The highest court held that “it is an axiomatic truth that the mother and father of a minor child have a duty to care for the person and property of their children.” In a concurrent ruling, one of the members of the same court noted that “the father because of a dominant personality can not be attributed to having a preferential right in the motherboard for guardianship since both belong to the same category”.

This is supposed to be a historical judgment; A milestone in the fight for women’s rights. I should feel a sense of triumph. But the truth I could not stop looking into was a simple question: are we so blind that we need the law to tell us that a mother has the right to be the guardian of her acknowledged son?

It was five years ago, I discovered that although I am an adult citizen of India, a working citizen, taxpayer, wife and mother – all that is acceptable and respectable – I am still not considered a “natural guardian” of my son. I asked the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) for its 9 percent emergency bond on behalf of my eleven-year-old son. I was told that only the child’s parent could sign the application for purchase or refund.

My husband and I have written to the producer that for this reason, we agreed on that fonctionniez as a tutor. But the response was inflexible and we found, completely legal: if I wanted to sign as my child’s guardian, I should produce a certificate from a competent authority to prove my husband was “unfit”; Or that he was dead; Or that he took vanaprastha.

Consider the irony: Like any other woman, I was raised in a world that has told you in many ways that your reason for being. Once again, like most women, I made peace with biological and social expectations. But to be said that it could be considered as the natural guardian of “illegitimate” children, not “legitimate”! And I was not legally responsible just to be helping, not a recognized decision-maker on issues related to my son’s well-being! As the law has had no problems with my income tax payment for my son, a single salary of the mother?

With the help of the Lawyers’ Women’s Rights Initiative program, my husband and I filed a request for an order from the Supreme Court to challenge the constitutionality of the minority and the Indian Guardianship Act (1956). Section 6 of the Act states that the mother is the natural guardian of her legitimate minor child “after” the father; Section 19 of the Law, Guardians, and Guards (1890) prohibits the court to appoint a guardian for a minor whose father lives and can not, according to the court, is not fit to be a guardian.