Custody battles: IGP must carry out his duties as a law enforcer without fear or favour
It is widely reported in the media that the Inspector of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Bakar has said that children who are involved in custody battles will be placed in welfare homes.
The IGP’s suggestion is wrong, unacceptable and laughable.
1. Facts of Indira Gandhi's case
On the outset, I wish to put on the know that my firm Kula & Associates is acting for Indira Gandhi in the custody battle of the three children of the family who the father Pathmanathan had converted to Islam . He is now known as Muhammad Ridzuan Abdullah.
The High Court of Ipoh had on 11 th March 2010 granted custody and control of the three children to Indira Gandhi. The husband appealed to the Court of Appeal and to the Federal court and both appeals were rejected.
Notwithstanding the 2010 custody order, the last child of the family Prasana Diksa, now 5 years plus, has not been returned to the Indira Gandhi.
Later, on 30th May 2014, the Ipoh High court issued a warrant of arrest against the convert husband. The arrest warrant was suspended for a week for Ridzuan to return the child.
Last Friday, Ridzuan’s lawyer En. Anas Faizal called over to my law office and said his client was unable to return the child as the order/notice from the court was too short and he was under a lot of stress. Note the other two older children are with Indira all this while.
2. Our reply
How can the order from Court be too short a notice when the High Court had granted custody order way back 4 years ago? Actually the child was breast fed when she was snatched away by the ex husband some 5 years ago and she has not seen the daughter since then. Now who is under stress?
3. IGP's duties
The IGP is a law enforcer within the meaning of the law. He cannot and should not question the Court process. If he is unsure what to do, he should get legal advice from the Attorney General. For the IGP to suggest that the children to be kept in welfare home will not only be laughable, it is also beyond the duties and obligation of a law enforcer.
To place a child in a welfare home is for the relevant courts to do, definitely not the IGP.
Why suddenly the IGP is taking over the role of the job of social activists, politicians and NGO's?
4. Home Minister cannot remain silent on what the IGP has said.
I urge the Home Minister to haul up the IGP and advice him of his duties and functions before the world laughs on his position. Will the Minister do so or he can’t do anything about this?
The IGP should just endorse the committal order before the people lose confidence in the police force. IGP must carry out his duties as law enforcer without fear or favour.
5. Committal order cannot be ignored
Indira had last Friday lodged a police report demanding the police to arrest her ex husband based on the committal order grated by the Court. This has to be carried out without delay as the police must file an affidavit if they are unsuccessful. Refusal to enforce it will be contempt of court.