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You are here : home > Adoption > The Guardians and Wards Act, 1890 > Chapter I: Preliminary

Chapter I: Preliminary


Adoption makes family complete. However, adoptive parents should be aware of all the formalities and legalities involved in adoption. It is very necessary to make note of all the adoption acts and follow them so that the process of adoption is smooth. Have a quick look at the first chapter of ‘The Guardians and Wards Act, 1890’.


1. Title, Extent and Commencement

(1) This Act may be called the Guardians and Wards Act, 1890.
(2) It extends to whole of India l[except the State of Jammu and Kashmir].2[***]
(3) It shall come into force on the first day of July, 1890.


2. [Repealed by the Repealing Act, 1938, s. 2 and Sch.]


3. Saving of Jurisdiction of Courts of Wards and Chartered High Courts

This Act shall be read subject to every enactment heretofore or hereafter passed relating to any Court of Wards by 3[any competent Legislature, authority or person in 4[any State to which this Act extends]]; and nothing in this Act shall be construed to effect or in any way derogate from , the jurisdiction or authority of any Court of Wards , or to take away any power possessed by 5[any High Court 6[* * *]].


4. Definitions

In this Act, unless there is something repugnant in the subject or context,-
(1) "minor" means a person who , under the provisions of the Indian Majority Act, 1875 (9 of 1875), is to be deemed not to have attained his majority;

(2) "guardian" means a person having the care of the person of a minor or of his property or of both his person and property;

(3) "ward" means a minor for whose person or property or both there is a guardian; 

(4) "District Court" has the meaning assigned to that expression in the Code of Civil Procedure, 1882 (14 of 1882)7, and includes a High Court in the exercise of its ordinary original civil jurisdiction; 

8[(5) "the court" means-
(a) the District Court having jurisdiction to entertain an application under this Act for an order appointing or declaring a person to be a guardian; or
(b) where a guardian has been appointed or declared in pursuance of any such application-
(i) the court which, or the court of the officer who, appointed or declared the guardian or is under this Act deemed to have appointed or declared the guardian; or
(ii) in any matter relating to the person of the ward the District Court having jurisdiction in the place where the ward for the time being ordinarily resides; or.
(c) in respect of any proceeding transferred under section 4A, the court of the officer to whom such proceeding has been transferred;] 

(6) "Collector" means the chief officer in charge of the revenue administration of a district and includes any officer whom the State Government, by notification in the Official Gazette may, by name or in virtue of his office, appoint to be a Collector in any local area or with respect to any class of persons, for all or any of the purposes of this Act;

9[(7) [* * *]; and 

8. "prescribed" means prescribed by rules made by the High Court under this Act.
4A. Power to confer jurisdiction on subordinate judicial officers and to transfer proceedings to such officers

(1) The High Court may, by general or special order, empower any officer exercising original civil jurisdiction subordinate to a district court, or authorise the Judge of any District Court to empower any such officer subordinate to him, to dispose of any proceedings under this Act transferred to such officer under the provisions of this section.

(2) The Judge of a District Court may, by order in writing, transfer at any stage any proceeding under this Act pending in his court for disposal to any officer subordinate to him empowered under sub-section (1).

(3) The Judge of a District Court may at any stage transfer to his own court or to any officer subordinate to him empowered under sub-section (1) any proceeding under this Act pending in the court of any other such officer.

(4) When any proceedings are transferred under this section in any case in which a guardian has been appointed or declared, the judge of the District Court may , by order in writing, declare that the Court of the Judge or officer to whom they are transferred shall, for all or any of the purposes of this Act, be deemed to be the court which appointed or declared the guardian.

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