THE HINDU MINORITY AND GUARDIANSHIP ACT, 1956
 

Section 6 - Natural guardians of a Hindu minor :

The natural guardian of a Hindu minor, in respect of the minor’s person as well as in respect of the minor’s property (excluding his or her undivided interest in joint family property), are –

  1. in the case of a boy or an unmarried girl-the father, and after him, the mother; provided that the custody of a minor who has not completed the age of five years shall ordinarily be with the mother;
  2. in case of an illegitimate boy or an illegitimate unmarried girl-the mother, and after her, the father;
  3. in the case of a married girl-the husband:

Provided that no person shall be entitled to act as the natural guardian of a minor under the provisions of this section-

  1. if he has ceased to be a Hindu, or
  2. if he has completely and finally renounced the world by becoming a hermit (vanaprastha) or an ascetic (yati or sanyasi).

Explanation :- In this section the expression “father” and “mother” do not include a step-father and a step-mother.

Section 13 - Welfare of minor to be paramount consideration :

  1. In the appointment or declaration of any person as guardian of a Hindu minor by a Court, the welfare of the minor shall be the paramount consideration.
  2. No person shall be entitled to the guardianship by virtue of the provisions of this Act or of any law relating to guardianship in marriage among Hindus, if the Court is of opinion that his or her guardianship will not be for the welfare of the minor.