The Kerala High Court recently held that District Courts are empowered only to appoint a guardian for a minor's property and not for a minor's person and it is the Family Court that is empowered to do the latter [KS Narayana Elayathu v Sandhya]..A Division Bench of Justices A Mohamed Mustaque and Sophy Thomas held so while partly allowing an appeal and setting aside the order of a District Court appointing a guardian for the person of a minor child. "With respect to the appointment of guardian of the person of the minor, the District Court has no jurisdiction, as it is a dispute squarely coming under explanation (g) to Section 7(1) of the Family Courts Act", the Court said in its order. .The Court noted that proceedings had already been initiated before a Family Court for custody of the minor child and therefore, if the District Court were to step in to that area, it may result in contradictory orders."In case of overlapping jurisdiction, it may result in contradictory orders, which may affect the welfare and well-being of the child, which is of paramount consideration. In suits or proceedings of the nature coming under explanation (g) to Section 7(1), the Family Court alone will get jurisdiction and the jurisdiction of the District Court is ousted, going by Section 8 of the Family Courts Act," the order stated..The Court issued the order on an appeal filed by the father of a minor child challenging the order of a District Court.His wife (the respondent in this case), who is also the mother of his child, approached the District Court to appoint her as the guardian of the person and property of their minor daughter.The District Court found that it has the jurisdiction when the custody of the property of a minor is involved.This was challenged by the appellant husband who contended that the District Court lacks jurisdiction, as the entire right of the District Court, by virtue of the Guardian & Wards Act, has been taken over by the Family Court as per Section 7 (1) explanation (g) of the Family Courts Act, 1984.Advocate Paul K Varghese, appearing for the appellant, also pointed out that he had filed another petition before a Family Court to gain custody of the minor child..The High Court opined that if the District Court also is proceeding for appointment of guardian of the person of the minor, it may result in conflicting decisions. It, therefore, concurred with the appellant's contention in that regard. "So, as far as the dispute between parties to an erstwhile marriage regarding guardianship of the person, or the custody of, or access to their minor child, the jurisdiction of the District Court is taken away by the Family Court," the High Court held.The Court did, however, uphold the decision of the district court conferring guardianship of the minor's property as "the fact that a court cannot appoint a guardian of the person, is no bar for appointing a guardian of the property".