The Persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation and Multiple Disabilities are in a special situation as even after they acquire 18 years of age, they may not always be capable of managing their own activities/lives or taking legal decisions for their own betterment. Therefore, they may require someone to represent their interests in the legal areas throughout their lives. Hence, Legal Guardianship is felt required under the following circumstances.
- To fill a legal vacuum since other laws of guardianship are only for minors.
- To make decisions in the interest of the persons with disability.
- To deal mainly with movable and immovable properties.
Under the National Trust Act, a Local Level Committee (LLC) headed by the District Collector is empowered to receive applications in Form A & appoint guardians in Form B only for persons with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Mental Retardation & Multiple Disabilities.
The LLC also provides mechanism for monitoring and protecting their interests including properties.
Assisting the Divyang of the specific category mentioned in the National Trust Act to submit/verify/process the application and see that the applicant receive the certificate.
Divyang of only four notified disabilities as per the National Trust.
Seva Bharati Office, Mangaluru.
Dakshina Kannada District
Processes to apply and obtain Legal guardianship Certificate.
- Both the parents jointly or singly in the event of the absence of one due to death, divorce, legal separation, desertion or conviction, being natural guardian of minor may apply to the Local Level Committee to get themselves or himself as the case may be, appointed as guardian of their or as the case may be, his disabled ward beyond the age of 18, in which case the application shall be accepted unless the parent is disqualified on account of
- loss of citizenship;
- being of unsound mind;
- being convicted by a court of law; or iv. being a destitute.
- The applicant may indicate siblings, or any member of the family or any other person or a registered institution for consideration as a guardian and in case of institutions, the conditions of eligibility of institutions shall be as stipulated in sub-regulation (3), (4) and (5) below.
- In case of considering the institution as a guardian, the institution must be registered under a law and be capable of providing care of the person.
- In the event of institution ceasing to be registered under a law or stops functioning, or is found otherwise unsuitable, the Local Level Committee shall make alternative arrangements for the foster care of any such inmate or the ward, who is under the care of any such institute.
- The alternative care under sub-regulation (4) shall not be permanent in nature and shall be placed by permanent guardianship within a period of one year.
- The applicant must be living in the vicinity or close proximity to the place where the ward has been habitually living at the time of appointment of guardian.
- No single male shall be considered as a guardian for a female ward and in the case of female wards, the male person shall be given co-guardianship with his spouse, who shall be master co- guardian.
Documents to be attached with Form A
- Birth Certificate of the person with disability as may be issued by the Municipal Authorities/ Registrar of Births/ School Authorities/ Educational Board.
- Certificate of residence of the person with disability as may be issued by the Ration Office, Electoral I.D Card, and Passport Office etc. Most often, till the age of 18 years the proof of residence will be available in the Ration Card issued in the name of the father of the person with disability. If the address has been changed, effective proof of the same must be furnished to the Committee.
- Disability Certificate issued by any Medical Board or Authority of the State or Central Government/ Government Hospital/ Government Psychiatric hospital/ Government authorized doctor/ Specialist.
- In the case of a voluntary organization or institution to be appointed as guardian, the consent of the parents has to be taken on the reverse of the Application Form.
- It is not necessary for the Applicant to submit original documents of proof. Self-attested photo copies can be submitted and whenever necessary the Committee can ask for production of the originals for verification.
- It is also necessary for the Applicant to state reasons for submitting application singly, where such application is submitted singly. This may be stated in the Application Form or additional sheets may be used for the purpose.
- Where it is necessary for the Applicant to give details of the extent and nature of personal care and maintenance to be provided and the details of movable and immovable property which have to be managed and taken care of by the guardian, the same may be stated in additional sheets of paper together with proof of the existence of such properties.
- Where an Application is submitted for appointment of a guardian for a female ward by a male applicant, his spouse will have to be appointed as co-guardian. For such applicants, therefore, it will be necessary to submit particulars of his spouse. If he has no spouse, the application will be of no avail.
The Volunteers and the staff of Seva Bharathi.
This service started in October 2018. Out of 49 applications received/processed, 39 applicants received Legal Guardianship Certificates and 08 applications were returned for non-eligibility. Remaining 02 applications are in the process of verification.
In order to make all the eligible Divyang residing in Dakshina Kannada district to possess Legal Guardianship certificates, efforts were made to communicate the information to Grama Panchayats, by writing letters. The staff of District Disability office (MRWs, VRWs) are utilized in their area on the matter. The information conveyed to the applicants/visitors who approach Seva Bharathi office for one or the other purposes. Several Awareness Programs were organized in association with Gram Panchayats in respective villages. Functions were organized in the premises of Seva Bharathi to distribute the Legal Guardianship Certificates through eminent persons in the society. The said functions were utilized to create awareness on the benefits of Niramaya Health Insurance Scheme, Legal Guardianship Certificates and UDID Card, by keeping a session for question and Answer by the beneficiaries.
Government of Karnataka, Department of Empowerment of Differently Abled & Senior Citizens, Dakshina Kannada Zilla Panchayath Office Premises, Kottara, Mangaluru – 575 006.