6. Natural guardians of a Hindu minor.
The natural guardians of a Hindu, minor, in respect of the minor’s person as well as in respect of the minor’s property (excluding his or her undivided interest in joint family property), are-
(a) in the case of a boy or an unmarried girl- the father, and after him, the mother:
Provided that the custody of a minor who has not completed the age of five years shall ordinarily be with the mother;
(b) in the case of an illegitimate boy or an illegitimate unmarried girl- the mother, and after her, the father;
(c) in the case of a married girl- the husband;
Provided that no person shall be entitled to act as the natural guardian of a minor under the provisions of this section-
(a) if he has ceased to be a Hindu, or
(b) if he has completely and finally renounced the world by becoming a hermit (vanaprastha) or an ascetic (yati or sanyasi)
In this section, the expressions ‘father‘ and ‘mother‘ do not include a step-father and a step-mother.
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