The Kerala High Court has observed that it cannot hold a Muslim woman can be the guardian of her minor child's property, going by the precedents of the Supreme Court. The high court said even though the personal law which prevents Muslim women from being guardians can be argued to be violative of Articles 14 and 15 and hence void, the court cannot go into the same since it is bound by the precedents set by the Supreme Court.
"That being the position, as the Shariat Act has been held to be not a State legislation, it cannot be tested on the anvil of Articles 14 or Article 15 of the Constitution as argued on behalf of the appellants," said a division bench of Justices P.B. Suresh Kumar and C.S. Sudha in its order on Tuesday, reported the Bar and Bench.
The high court, however, agreed that if succession and other matters of secular character have nothing to do with religion, the same would be the position in the case of guardianship also.
It is no doubt true that in this modern age, women have scaled heights and have slowly but steadily stormed several male bastions. As pointed out, many Islamic countries or Muslim-dominated countries have women as their heads of State. Women have been part of expeditions to the space too," the court observed.
"Be that as it may, this court is bound by the decisions of the Honourable Supreme Court," it further said.
The high court was hearing a petition filed by C. Abdul Aziz, a native of Kozhikode, and a dozen others over a partition deed in which a Muslim mother acted as a legal guardian of her son's property.