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HC to decide if renouncing Hinduism means losing child's custody PDF Print E-mail
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Written by Kanchan Chaudhari   

Kanchan Chaudhari, Hindustan Times
Mumbai, May 23, 2011

Does a child's natural guardian lose the right to the custody of his or her own child on renouncing Hinduism and converting to another religious faith? The Bombay high court is likely to answer this question when it rules on a guardianship petition filed by a Kandivli resident. The petitioner, Rajes

h Katargamia, the maternal uncle of a minor child, moved the court seeking an order that appoints him as the legal guardian of the child, who lost his mother and whose father has married another woman, after converting to Islam.

The petition was filed based on section 6(a) of the Hindu Minority and Guardianship Act, 1956, which states that no person (a Hindu) shall be entitled to act as natural guardian of a minor, if he renounces Hinduism.

Katargamia contended that the child's father is no longer entitled to continue to act as his guardian because he adopted Islam as his religion. Acting on the petition, earlier, the court restrained the child's father from creating third party rights or parting with the two flats jointly owned by him and the child's deceased mother.

The court issued the interim order noting that the child is entitled to his mother's share. It also granted the child's interim custody to the maternal uncle.

The child's mother died in November 2010 after which her brother moved the HC apprehending that the child may be kidnapped, and the property owned jointly by his parents may be misused. The petition is may come up for hearing on June 8.


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