On the 11th of March 2010, Indira Gandhi succeeded to get custody of her 3 children, who were all minors, from the Ipoh High Court. It was an uphill battle from the start. Her husband one Pathmanathan ( now known Mohamad Riduan bin Abdullah) had not only converted to Islam but in the process had also purported to convert the three children into Islam.
The husband further got an order from the Syariah Court, again purporting to give him custody over the 3 children. At the Syariah Court, Indira did not appear nor was her consent asked before the 3 children were converted. Consent from the children was absent too. The Syariah Court made these orders even though it was clearly beyond their jurisdiction.
The last child of the family, even though still a baby who was being breast fed, was taken away by the father. Her whereabouts are still unknown till today. Many attempts to locate the child and father have been unsuccessful.
Attempts to serve the court order have been unsuccessful. He can’t be found at his last known address in Kota Baru.
He filed an appeal against this court order granting custody to the mother to the Court of Appeal, which was struck out. His application for leave to appeal to the Federal court was dismissed.
Today at the Ipoh High Court, the application for leave to initiate contempt proceedings against the husband was heard before JC Lee Swee Seng. Indira’s team of lawyers, led by K. Shanmuga, M.Kula, N.Selvam and Aston Paiva argued that leave (permission) must be given to initiate contempt proceedings. Further, we argued that as the husband was evading service but obviously knew of the Custody Order, personal revive of the Custody Order should be dispensed with. The Judge after hearing the matter for about half an hour allowed our application.
We are today filing our application to commit the father to jail for contempt of Court. The father must show cause why he should not be committed to prison on 6th January 2013.
However, we hope that wiser heads will prevail and that the father will reunite the daughter and mother before that date.