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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 becoming a hermit (vanaprastha) or an ascetic (yati or sanyasi).

Explanation: In this section, the expression "father" and "mother" do not include step-father and a step-mother.





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