Custody is distinct from Guardianship.
Supreme Court of India
Athar Hussain vs Syed Siraj Ahmed & Ors on 5 January, 2010
Author: T Chatterjee
Bench: Tarun Chatterjee, V.S. Sirpurkar
32. Section 12 of the Act empowers courts to "make such order for the temporary custody and protection of the person or property of the minor as it thinks proper."
35. Thus the question of guardianship can be independent of and distinct from that of custody in facts and circumstances of each case.
43. As is evident, the aforementioned decision concerned appointment of a guardian. No doubt, unless the father is proven to be unfit, the application for guardianship filed by another person cannot be entertained. However, we have already seen that the question of custody was distinct from that of guardianship.
53. We, however, make it clear that the observations made in the order of the High Court as well as by this Court, if there be
any, shall not be taken to be final while deciding the original application filed under Sections 7, 9 and 17 of the Act and the Family Court shall be at liberty to proceed with the disposal of the said proceeding independently of any of the observations made by this Court in this judgment.