Lawyer gives top cop 48 hours to return girl to mother
BY V. ANBALAGAN, ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR
The Malaysian Insider
Published: 10 September 2014
The lawyer of a Hindu mother fighting for custody of her six-year-old daughter with her Muslim ex-husband has given 48 hours to Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to hand over the child to her mother.
Ipoh Barat MP and lawyer M. Kulasegaran said his client M. Indira Gandhi would drop her mandamus application to cite the top cop for contempt for his refusal to follow a May 30 High Court directive.
"The IGP and his men still have time to locate Prasana Diksa and arrest the father (Muhammad Ridzuan Abdullah) and put him in a civil prison," he told reporters after a proceeding in the Court of Appeal today.
He said he expected the law enforcement officer to uphold the rule of law following the Court of Appeal's significant ruling today.
"In Indira's case, there was a conclusive finding that Ridzuan had shown disrespect to the court and there was also no shariah court order to the police to do anything," he said.
Kulasegaran had appeared together with Aston Paiva to strike out an appeal by Indira's ex-husband, Ridzuan, who was found in contempt of court for his refusal to hand over Prasana to her mother in a unilateral conversion case.
A three-man bench led by Datuk Balia Yusof Wahi said it was trite law that the court could not hear an applicant who has yet to purge his contempt.
"Public interest demands that there must be respect for the law to be maintained," he said in allowing Indira's application to strike out Ridzuan's appeal against the May 30 High Court ruling which found him guilty of contempt.
The mandamus application to cite Khalid for contempt will be heard before High Court judge Lee Swee Seng on Friday.
Government lawyers are expected to explain why Khalid refused to execute the May 30 order issued by the court to arrest Ridzuan and locate his youngest child.
On July 25, Lee in granting Indira's mandamus application to cite the IGP for contempt said she had proved there was a case for Khalid to answer.
Kulasegaran said his client was forced to go back to the court because Khalid refused to enforce the order given by Lee on May 30.
"She had to file the mandamus application to cite the IGP for contempt for his refusal to follow the court directive," he said.
Kulasegaran said this was a landmark ruling because the judge was bold in issuing a directive against the IGP.
Indira filed the ex-parte mandamus order in June after Khalid refused to locate Ridzuan and hand over six-year-old Prasana Diksa to her.
A mandamus order is taken to compel a civil servant to perform or stop him from doing a certain act.
Ridzuan refused to hand over their youngest daughter Prasana Diksa despite a 2010 High Court order awarding custody of their three children to Indira.
He has held on to the child since April 2009.
The Shariah High Court in Ipoh had in 2009 given Ridzuan custody of the three children after he unilaterally converted them to Islam.
However, in July last year, the Ipoh High Court quashed the conversion of the children and ruled that the certificates of conversion were unconstitutional.
On May 30, the court which found Ridzuan guilty of contempt of court for failing to return Prasana to Indira also granted her a recovery order and warrant of arrest against her ex-husband.
Khalid refused to follow the court order because there were two custody orders from a civil and shariah court, saying the police were sandwiched between two court systems.