1. This is an appeal against the order of the District Judge of Salem appointing Govindaswamy Mudaliar(the natural father of the minor) as the guardian for his person and property (only houses and lands) The appellant is the adoptive mother of the minor boy who is now aged about 10 years. The District Judge has taken into consideration the facts alleged on both sides, and without making an elaborate inquiry he has thought fit to appoint the natural father as guardian in preference to the adoptive mother. It is true, that from the standpoint of Hindu Law, the adoptive mother has a preferential right to the guardianship. But the welfare of the minor especially in choosing a guardian for his person, is of paramount importance, and this will be a matter which must weigh largely with the court. Since the death of the adoptive father of the minor, there have been quarrels between the petitioner and the respondent, and the feelings between them are very much strained. In this state of circumstances, is it desirable to appoint the adoptive mother as the guardian for the minor's person.? The learned District Judge seems to have apprehended that it; would not be for his welfare. We had the opportunity of seeing the minor in court, and questioning him. He seems to be intelligent in understanding the situation; and says that he would prefer to be with; his natural father. We do not, therefore, think fit to interfere with the discretion, exercised by the lower Court.
2. As for the other portion of the order we find no justification for declining to appoint the adoptive mother as the guardian for the minor's property. She is entitled to be so appointed under law, unless she is shown to be disqualified. There seems to be no good ground to prefer the natural father to her.
3. We set aside the order appointing the petitioner as the guardian for the minor's property, and appoint the adoptive mother as such guardian, subject to her furnishing security for Rs. 3,000 (as stated in the lower Court's order). The other conditions imposed on the property guardian will hold good, with this modification, viz., that she will deposit the surplus of the collections in court once in 6 months, after paying herself the amount of maintenance due to her. The personal guardian will draw the maintenance of the minor from the amount in court deposit. She may retain Rs. 75 as permanent advance. She will submit accounts to the court once in 6 months. Costs of both sides will come out of the estate.
4. The Memorandum of Objections alone having been posted to be spoken to this day, the court delivered the following
5. The rate allowed for the minor's maintenance seems to be adequate. We do not think fit to enchance it. It is, however, open to the personal guardian of the minor to apply to the lower Court for any special reasons, to sanction the grant of any sum to meet any other necessities besides those mentioned in the order.
6. This Memorandum of Objections is dismissed. No costs.