Friday, April 2, 2010

Hindu wife to keep children

By Jaspal Singh
IPOH: The High Court disallowed an application by a Muslim-convert husband to obtain a stay against the custody order granted by the same court to his estranged Hindu wife last month.
Giving her ruling in chambers yesterday, judge Datuk Wan Afrah Wan Ibrahim decided that there were no special circumstances which warranted a stay of the custody order of the three children she had given in favour of Indira Gandhi.On March 11, Wan Afrah ruled that Indira was not a Muslim and therefore was not bound by the Syariah Court's decision granting custody of the three children to her estranged husband Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah. The judge also ruled that it was in the children's best interest for them to be in the care of their mother, especially since the youngest child was below seven and the two older children were under 21. She decided that the custody of the couple's three children -- Tevi Darsiny, 13, Karan Dinish, 12, and Prasana Diksa, 23-month-old -- be given to the 35-year-old kindergarten teacher.

Yesterday, Wan Afrah upheld her own decision and refused to grant a stay to Ridzuan despite him pleading that he was appealing to the Court of Appeal to overturn the High Court's decision on March 11.Indira's counsel M. Kulasegaran said yesterday's decision meant that the custody matter was over at the High Court level."However, if the father (Ridzuan) is dissatisfied, he has to appeal to the Court of Appeal," he said after leaving court.Of the three children, only Prasana is still with her father after he took her away last April. The other two are with their mother. Kulasegaran said Ridzuan must return the child to Indira even if he wants to appeal against the stay decision.

"If he fails to do so we will initiate contempt proceedings and he will face the prospect of a jail term." Indira said she was very happy with the court's decision."I hope he (Ridzuan) abides by the decision and surrenders Prasana to me.

Her birthday is coming up on April 8. She will be two. I want to hold her and shower her with kisses." She said the family had prepared a birthday bash for Prasana and were waiting for her estranged husband, whose Hindu name was K. Patmanathan, to hand over the child.
Ridzuan was not present at the court and neither was Prasana.

However, Ridzuan's counsel Mohammad Faizal Che Yusof said his client had filed an appeal challenging the custody order.He, however, claimed ignorance when asked about the location of Ridzuan and Prasana.

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