THE GUARDIAN ANGEL

THE GUARDIAN ANGEL

“Nothing can, could have given me immense pleasure than to report this, on this DAY being, WOMEN’S DAY, 2019” …….

In a breakthrough happening for the first time ever, in the State of Tamil Nadu, a collector has been appointed as THE GUARDIAN to a family of three children, with parents dead, the eldest being Sujithra aged about 16, her sister sumithra aged 15 and their younger brother Venkatakrishnan aged 11.This has been done under SECTIONS 18 AND 23 of the Guardian and Wards Act, 1890. The Collector is none other than, of Thiruvannamalai, Sri. K.S. KANDASWAMY, IAS. This maiden incident happened yesterday, at the Registrar office, sengam, in Thiruvannamalai district, where these children hail from a village, “kuppanaththam”.

A FACT ABOUT THE LAWS:

Section 18 in The Guardians and Wards Act, 1890

18. Appointment or declaration of Collector in virtue of office. —Where a Collector is appointed or declared by the Court in virtue of his office to be guardian of the person or property or both, of a minor, the order appointing or declaring him shall be deemed to authorize and require the person for the time being holding the office to act as guardian of the minor with respect to his person or property or both, as the case may be.

Section 23 in The Guardians and Wards Act, 1890

23. Control of Collector as guardian. —A Collector appointed or declared by the Court to be guardian of the person or property or both, of a minor shall, in all matters connected with the guard­ianship of his ward, be subject to the control of the State Government or of such authority as that Government, by notifica­tion in the Official Gazette, appoints in this behalf.

 

How this came about is the whole interesting narrative. On the Public Grievances Redressal day, which is a regular every Monday at Thiruvannamalai, a young girl gave a petition to the Collector, in which it was stated that, since her parents have been dead, their paternal uncle, that is, father’s brother, his wife and son, have not only been grossly ill-treating them, subjecting the children to torture, vile threats as to their lives and property, which was their paternal grandparents. On receipt of the petition, the Collector immediately took actions, by reporting the matter to the All-Women’s Police Station Inspector, Sengam, and advised them to inquire into the matter. On inquiry the paternal uncle, aunt and their son were warned not to pose any problems, threat to the children and was asked to give it in writing that they will not create any hindrances to their livelihood in furtherance, advised them accordingly.

Things never stopped with that, even after the matter had gone to this extent, to score even at these helpless, young children, the uncle’s family trio, never stopped with their taunting, vile threats, the children were told, that wherever they go and complain about them, no one can do anything to them. They further mentioned that, the house on paternal grandfather’s (dead) name, the lands in the name of the paternal grandmother (still alive, but completely bed ridden), the share which should belong to the children at a later date, have been asked by the uncle’s family to cheat, deprive them of their ancestral property and their behaviour never changed, despite polices’ intervention. Pushed to the extreme decision to leave their home, because of the continuous life threats, ill-treatment meted out, future education prospects, they filed this petition to ensure that they get the property at a future date and stoppage of torturous treatment because of property issues, they wanted a GUARDIAN TO BE APPOINTED, to safeguard their interests.

Then, the protection officer against family violence, from the district Social Welfare Office, went directly to check the situation there and gave his report. The report said, “its seen that the petitioner and her siblings have no absolute protection, further to protect them from the looming threats for protecting the property, a GUARDIAN, need to be appointed, it is highly imperative and need of the hour too”. The reports from the Revenue District office, report from the Sengam All women police Station, the District Social Welfare office, another inquiry was done to recover the situation from further unforeseen eventualities. The father of the children Raja had died on 2.6.2009, their mother manjula died on 28.1.2019 and the legal heir Certificate was justified by naming all the three children, along with the paternal grandmother.

Moreover, it was also confirmed that the land property was in the name of the paternal grandmother, who lived in a small house all alone, owing to old age and inability she has not been of much help, support, to these children. It was a true fact that, there were threats from the paternal uncle’s side who were eyeing the property share of these children, an appointment of a GUARDIAN was put forward, as an ultimate safe-guard.

When all these documents and situations had been directly inspected and considered, it was decided that the Collector of Thiruvannamalai, Sri. K.S. KANDASWAMY, IAS, would be appointed as their GUARDIAN, the guardianship will hold good, till the petitioner reaches the legal age of 18. After which she can be appointed as the legal guardian for her siblings.

Sujithra said, “Knowing my plight and situation, my teachers suggested that if I meet the Collector and give a petition, he will definitely help me. With no parents to take care, I was fear ridden how am I going to save my siblings. After meeting the Collector sir, all my fears disappeared and I became brave. I want to study well become an IPS officer and at that time wherever the Collector Sir is, I will go directly meet him and get his blessings. My life’s ambition is to become an IPS officer, do my duty well also”.

It was also officially declared that Sri. K.S. KANDASWAMY, IAS, and their paternal Grandmother as their guardians, for their one-half of the total acres of 2.17 of farmland and a tiled roof house in the village, were registered in all the three children’s names. The legal guardian ship, along with a natural death compensation amount of Rs. 22,500/- from the social welfare department, a monthly amount of Rs.1000 will be given to the three children from the Farmers Protection Scheme, were given by the Collector, along with a bank pass book, new clothes, fruits and sweets to the children.

WE SALUTE YOU SIR, FOR THIS VERY KIND, COMMENDABLE GESTURE FROM YOU……HATS OFF TO YOU SIR……MAY YOUR JOURNEY CONTINUE TO SERVE THE UNSERVED AS ALWAYS…...

VIJAYASHREE RAMESH, CHENNAI BASED ADVOCATE.