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Legality And Responsibility: Nurturing Child's Development

In this article, we will not discuss laws related to authority, custody, post-divorce arrangements, or determining who is fit to be a guardian. Instead, we will focus on the duties and responsibilities shared between parents and children, as well as the legal aspects of these obligations.

Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956: This Act governs the rights and obligations of parents towards their minor children in matters of guardianship, custody, and maintenance. It applies to Hindus, Buddhists, Jains, and Sikhs.

According to The Hindu Minority and Guardianship act,1956, section 8 clause 1. The natural guardian(defined in section 6) to do all the acts which is necessary or reasonable and proper for the benefit of the minor ( a person who has not attained the age of 18) and for minor's estate, but the guardian can in no case tie the minor for their personal mean.

Guardians and Wards Act, 1890: This Act applies to all Indian citizens, irrespective of their religion, and deals with the appointment of guardians for minors and their properties.

According to the guardians and wards act 1890 section 24 states that, ' duties of guardian of the person, a guardian of a person of a ward is charged with the custody of the ward and must look to his support, health and education and such other matters as the law to which the ward is subject requires.'

Both laws ensure the proper maintenance of the child. This doesn't mean the fulfilling every demand of the ward. If your ward ask to buy them a play station and you disagree to do so, don't worry you won't be charged to any legal action.

The very next section 25(1) for the same act ensures you that if a ward leaves or is removed from the custody of their legal guardian, the ward shall be returned of the guardian, if only in the opinion of the court that the guardian is fit for the minor.

Removal of the guardian can be ensured under the guardians and wards act 1890, Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015

Juvenile Justice (Care and Protection of Children) Act, 2015:

Section 75. Punishment for cruelty to child:
Whoever, having the actual charge of, or control over, a child, assaults, abandons, abuses, exposes or willfully neglects the child or causes or procures the child to be assaulted, abandoned, abused, exposed or neglected in a manner likely to cause such child unnecessary mental or physical suffering, shall be punishable with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or with fine of one lakh rupees or with both

Provided that if the biological parents abandon their child due to circumstances which is beyond their control, than the punishment shall not be applied as the abandonment was not willful.

Provided further that if such offence is committed by any person employed by or managing an organization, which is entrusted with the care and protection of the child, he shall be punished with rigorous imprisonment which may extend up to five years, and fine which may extend up to five lakhs rupees: Provided also that on account of the aforesaid cruelty, if the child is physically incapacitated or develops a mental illness or is rendered mentally unfit to perform regular tasks or has risk to life or limb, such person shall be punishable with rigorous imprisonment, not less than three years but which may be extended up to ten years and shall also be liable to fine of five lakhs rupees.

Under Maintenance of wife, children and parents (section 125 of CrPC) provide that if any person has sufficient means and refuse maintain his wife, legitimate or illegitimate child, parents who are unable to do so shall be charged accordingly. Procedure of Maintenance, Alternation Allowance, Enforcement of Order of Maintenance are mentioned in section 126,127,128.

Both parents and children share a crucial bond that must not be neglected or compromised by either party. The presumption of innocence, should extend beyond the law and be recognized as a key distinction between adults and children. Discipline for any ward or child should strictly adhere to legal boundaries.

It is essential to address the laws protecting children against domestic violence, which includes mental and physical abuse. Such abuse can severely damage a child's self-confidence and self-image. The challenge that it is challenging to report such abuse to authorities, especially when the perpetrators are their guardians .Many are unaware of these protective laws, and even if they do report, the blame often falls unjustly on them. Elders frequently justify physical harm as being for the child's benefit, but abuse should never be considered a form of discipline.

Parents should seek assistance from professionals, such as psychiatrists, or utilize resources provided by government websites to address these issues. Moral education for children should be nurtured with care, not imposed through abuse. By fostering a supportive and respectful environment, we can better protect the well-being and development of our children.

  • Indian Kanoon -
  • Drishti Judiciary -
  • Indian Code -
  • Juvenile Justice Act 2015 -
  • The Guardian and Wards Act 1890 -
  • The Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act 1956 -
  • CrPC 1973 -

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