Thursday, January 14, 2016

Hindu mother ready for court battle over children’s conversion, says lawyer


M. Indira Gandhi holding back her tears during the press conference in Ipoh today. - Pic by Wong Tuck Keong, January 14, 2016.Kindergarten teacher M. Indira Gandhi is ready to take her challenge against the unilateral conversion of her three children to Islam at the Federal Court, her lawyer M. Kula Segaran said.

He said the leave application for the case to be heard at the Federal Court has been drafted and would be submitted soon.

"We will have to give our reasons for wanting the case to be heard at Federal

level. "Among the things we will state will be the fact that the Court of Appeal decision involved one dissenting judge on the three men bench," Kula, who is also DAP's Ipoh Barat MP, said in Ipoh today.

Perak DAP held a solidarity meeting with Indira today, where retired Court of Appeal judge, Datuk Chan Nyarn Hoi, known as N.H. Chan, was present.

The retired judge said he agreed that Indira's case should be taken to the apex court, adding that he felt the Hindu mother could fare better with a Federal Court verdict.

Chan, 81, said the Court of Appeal ruling that upheld the validity of the children's unilateral conversion by Indira'x ex-husband based on the Perak Enactment, had limited the judiciary's scope.

"The Perak enactment concerns Perak. How can the Court of Appeal decide on an issue without looking broadly to encompass the entire nation?

"The Perak enactment is only the first stage, she (Indira's case) can go beyond that," he said.

On December 30 last year, the appellate court had reversed a 2013 Ipoh High Court ruling that quashed the conversion of Indira's children by her convert ex-husband, Muhammad Riduan Abdullah (formerly K. Pathmanathan).

The three-man bench, headed by judge Datuk Balia Yusof Wahi, taking the subject-matter approach, ruled the conversion has to be decided by the religious court and that the lower court did not have the jurisdiction to hear the conversion.

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