Thursday, June 12, 2014

Ipoh court orders cops to find Indira's daughter

4:19PM Jun 12, 2014 - Hafiz Yatim ( Malaysiakini) 

Ipoh court orders cops to find Indira's daughter 

The Ipoh High Court yesterday directed the police to retrieve kindergarten teacher M Indira Gandhi's youngest daughter Prasana Diksa within 30 days - failing which they would have to answer the court why they did not comply with the order.

Indira Gandhi's lawyer M Kulasegaran (left) told Malaysiakini it was rare for the court to issue such order but he was glad that Justice Lee Swee Seng had allowed it.

"This is ensuing the court's decision on May 30 this year," he added.

"With this order, the police are required to find and bring back the girl. If they fail to do so, they have to state the reasons via an affidavit.

"With this, Inspector-General of Police Khalid Abu Bakar will have to comply with the order and not propose something else," he said.

On Tuesday, Khalid proposed a middle path to resolve inter-faith child custody disputes by placing the children in childcare centres for both parents to visit until their cases are settled.

The Ipoh Barat MP also revealed the Ipoh police had called Indira Gandhi and him for a meeting to resolve the issue following the solution proposed by the IGP.

"However, we turned down the meeting. We want the police to comply with the order for them to get back the child," said Kulasegaran.

June 6 deadline

Yesterday's court order follows the failure of Indira Gandhi's former husband K Pathmanathan @ Mohd Ridhuan Abdullah to comply with the Ipoh High Court order, dated May 30, for Ridhuan to return the five-year-old girl by June 6.

Ridhuan has been found guilty by Justice Lee of contempt of court for not returning the child, an order the court was willing to revoke, should the father return Prasana Diksa, or her Muslim name Ummu Habibah, to Kulasegaran or the mother by that time.

On May 30, Justice Lee also ruled that the civil High Court is superior to the Syariah High Court and declared the Syariah High Court order granting custody of Prasana Diksa to Ridhuan as null and void.

Besides Prasana Diksa, the couple have a son and another daughter, who were also converted by Ridhuan to Islam but they are have been staying with the mother since the Ipoh High Court order.

It was reported that following Ridhuan's failure to return the child, Indira Gandhi had wanted her former husband to be arrested for contempt.

Khalid's (right) "middle path" to resolve inter-faith child custody disputes by placing the children in child care centres resulted in mounting criticism of the IGP from various quarters, including BN and opposition politicians.

However the IGP reportedly said the police will stick to its position as it is 'sandwiched between' two jurisdictions of the syariah High Court and the civil High Court.

Several lawyers have argued that the police should follow the civil High Court order in such disputes.


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