Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Court of Appeal rejects Muslim convert’s bid to get custody of children from ex-wife

Court of Appeal rejects Muslim convert’s bid to get custody of children from ex-wife

BY V. ANBALAGAN, ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
May 27, 2014 The Malaysian Insider

The Court of Appeal today refused a stay application by a Muslim convert to suspend the Seremban High Court's ruling giving custody of two children to their Hindu mother.

A three-man bench chaired by Datuk Mohd Hishammuddin Mohd Yunus said there were no special circumstances in this case to allow the application by lorry driver Izwan Abdullah (pic).

"Further, the conduct of the appellant (convert) in violating the April 7 High Court order precludes him from making this application," Hishamuddin said.

He also ordered Izwan to pay RM8,000 in costs to his ex-wife, S. Deepa.

Her lawyer, K. Shanmuga, told reporters that the court, in dismissing the application today, took into account that Izwan did not come "with clean hands" to seek the remedy through the legal channel.
On April 9, Izwan abducted his son from Deepa at her home in Jelebu, Negri Sembilan.

Although she had lodged a police report, Inspector-General of Police, Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the police would not interfere as there were two custody orders by the civil and Shariah courts.
The High Court had on April 7 ordered that custody of the couple's two children be handed over to Deepa.

Judge Datuk Zabariah Mohd also allowed Deepa's application to dissolve her civil marriage as the husband had converted to Islam.

The decision overrides a Shariah Court order early last year granting custody of the children.
Zabariah said Deepa's application was allowed as the civil court had jurisdiction over the matter and provide the relief for custody and dissolution of the couple's marriage.

The court also allowed Izwan limited visitation but not an overnight stay.

In December last year, Deepa filed an application to get custody of the chidren who were converted to Islam by the husband after he embraced Islam in 2011 and to quash the custody order by the Shariah Court.

The 30-year-old clerk from Jelebu said her husband, then known as N. Viran, had left her and her children three years ago, and had never supported them financially.

Following his conversion, he also converted his children, Sharmila, 9, and Mithran, 6, in April last year, without informing his wife.

Deepa later came to know that the Shariah Court had given him custody of the children, and lodged a police report as the conversion of the children was against the law.

Deepa, who is assisted by the Women's Aid Oganisation in her legal battle, however, has yet to file an application to declare her children's conversion illegal and unconstitutional. – May 27, 2014.

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