Monday, August 9, 2010

Indira moves to enforce custody order

Kindergarten teacher M Indira Gandhi has instructed her lawyer to personally serve her estranged husband with the Ipoh High Court order that grants her custody of their three children.

Her former husband, Mohd Riduan Abdullah @ K Pathmanathan, 41, is believed to be hiding in Kelantan with their youngest child, Prasana Diksa, now 2.

Mohd Riduan had earlier converted himself and all three children to Islam without her knowledge.
On July 28, however, the Ipoh High Court had granted Indira's application for leave to quash the certificates of conversion to Islam of the children.

Indira, 35, has been awarded custody of the children, two of whom are already living with her.

Her lawyer M Kulasegaran (extreme right in photo) said the court order had been sent to Riduan's lawyers by courier service, but that there has been no response.

He has since instructed Riduan's lawyers to ensure that their client is in their office when he goes to Kota Baru to serve the order on Sunday.

“We do not want Riduan to later say that he was not aware of the order and that he did not receive the order,” he explained.

“If he does not comply with the order, then we will have to (initiate) contempt of court proceedings against him.”

After the Syariah Court granted Mohd Riduan granted custody of the three children, Indira challenged this in the Ipoh High Court which decided it had jurisdiction to hear the application.

On May 11, High Court judge Justice Wan Afrah Wan Ibrahim ordered Riduan to surrender all three children to their mother and gave Mohd Riduan weekly visiting rights to them.

Kulasegaran noted that, under the Law Reform and Marriage Act, there is an assumption that a child below seven years should be with the mother and that the father has visitation rights.

'Criminal intimidation'

In another development, Indira lodged a police report on July 31, alleging criminal intimidation against Mohd Riduan and the use of abusive words by him during a telephone conversation on July 29.

Indira said she had received a call from him on her mobile phone, seeking a compromise after the court's most recent decision on July 28.

He allegedly said she could have the two elder children, if he could keep Prasana with him.

Indira refused, telling him to surrender Prasana to her and said he would have weekly visiting rights to the child.

Mohd Riduan was said to have claimed that, as a Muslim, he would only abide by the Syariah Court ruling. He then allegedly abused her, prompting Indira to cut off the conversion.

Another of Indira's lawyers, A Sivanesan, said the report should facilitate the police in taking swift action in arresting Mohd Riduan and returning Prasana to her mother.

The punishment for criminal intimidation under Section 506 of the Penal Code carries a jail term of up to two years or a fine, or both.

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