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Q: 4 Define “HAZANAT” and Distinguish between Legal and Natural Guardia
A: Hizanat means custody of a minor, or in other words, the guardianship of the person of a minor.
The right may be lost under certain circumstances. According to the Islamic Law, the mother loses his right when the male child attains the age of seven years and the girls attain the age of puberty which is fifteen years. But as this rule of Islamic Law is subject to the Indian Majority Act, the right to custody should be deemed to continue till the minor attains the age of 18 years.
A female (including a mother) otherwise entitled to the custody of a child loses the right to the custody:
1. If she marries a person not related to child within the prohibited degrees, but the right revives on dissolution of the marriage by death or divorce.
2. If she is ‘wicked’ as where she is a prostitute or a professional singer, or has committed theft or other criminal offence which make her unworthy to be trusted.
Following are the persons legally entitled to act as guardian of the property of the minor in order of preference:
1. The father
2. the executor appointed by father’s will
3. The father’s father
4. the executor appointed by the will of the father’s father and failing all these
5. the person appointed by the Court to act as guardian of the minor’s property.
Thus there are three kinds of legal guardians of the minor’s property:
NATURAL GUARDIANS: These are the father and father’s father. The father is the primary natural guardian. If he grows too old and infirm and unable to discharge his duties he may delegate his power to another person to act as the guardian of the minor even inter vivos.