A petition was filed in the Supreme Court seeking to repeal Section 6(a) and Section 7 of the Hindu Minorities and Guardianships Act, 1956 to the extent to which they contradict the constitutional provisions. The petition filed by Sulochana Rani, contended that the provisions of the Indian laws defeat the fundamental rights. In case of divorced parents, the guardianship of their child is given to one parent and visiting rights to the other. The petitioner felt that this was against the fundamental rights of both the parents and also the child.
The custody of the child is given to only one parent. This takes away the fundamental right of the parent who is not given custody and also takes away the fundamental right of the child to be with and enjoy the love and care of one of parent.
Advocates appearing for the petitioner Thulasi K Raj, Aruna S and Maitreyi S Hegde contended the statutory provision that gives the guardianship and custody based on gender is discriminatory and has to be declared unconstitutional as it violates Article 14 and Article 21 of the Indian constitution.
Section 6(a) and Section 7 of the Hindu Minorities and Guardianships Act, 1956 along with the Guardians and Wards Act and Shariat Actare the statutory provisions challenged before the Supreme Court.
“The natural guardians 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-
“The natural guardianship of an adopted son who is a minor passes, on adoption, to the adoptive father and after him to the adoptive mother.”
The petitioner also challenged the constitutional validity of section 25 the Wards and Guardians Act and Shariat Act, 1937.