1. This petition has been filed on behalf of a minor wife by next friend to rivise the order of the learned District Judge of Guntur declining to set aside a custody order he passed in O.P; No. 118 of 1947, on 30th September, 1947, on the ground that he had not consulted the wishes of the minor who was a grownup girl before he passed his order.
2. The custody order is as follows:
The petitioner as the husband of the minor wife is in law entitled to her custody especially when it is found from his evidence which has not been challenged that his marriage with the minor was. consummated three years ago. The respondents have no objection to restore custody. They have endorsed on the petition to that effect. I therefore order the custody of the minor to the petitioner. The parties shall bear their own costs.
3. The respondents to the original petition were the girl's sister and her husband. Along with this revision petition an application for stay of the custody order was admitted and stay was made absolute pending the disposal of this petition on the ground that the learned District Judge had not examined the minor and considered her objections to be restored to her husband's custody. It is brought to my notice by the learned advocate who has filed this petition that an application, has been filed in this court on behalf of the minor to be declared as major. I called for this petition which has not yet been numbered. On the merits the custody order passed by the learned District Judge cannot be sustained. It is a salutary practice for a Judge sitting on the Guardians and Wards side to examine all minors and, interrogate them before directing their return or being handed over to any custody, even that of the legal guardian. There are circumstances which may justify a refusal to hand over a minor even to the custody of a prima facie legal guardian, the interests of the minor being the paramount consideration. The application by the minor to be declared a major cannot be properly determined without the girl being produced in court.
4. I set aside the custody order passed by the learned District Judge and remand O.P. No. 118 of 1947 for fresh disposal after a court examination of the minor. If she is now found to be a major and sui juris, the court will of course have no jurisdiction to pass any custody order. The application by the girl to be declared a major will be transferred to the District Judge for disposal. No order as to costs in this petition.