M Indira Gandhi's daughter was 11-months-old when her ex-husband, who converted to Islam, took the child. The teacher has not seen her for eight years.
Eight months have also passed since she turned to the courts to compel inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar to look for her daughter as she and her ex-husband K Pathmanathan, who now uses the name Mohd Ridhwan Abdullah were embroiled in a custody battle over their three children.
Tomorrow, the Federal Court will deliver its verdict on whether the top cop has to abide by the order of the High Court.
On Sept 12, 2014, the Ipoh High Court issued a mandamus order compelling Khalid to find and arrest Ridhwan and return their youngest daughter to Indira.
Three months later, the Court of Appeal in a majority 2-1 decisionoverturned the High Court order as Justices Abdul Aziz Abd Rahman and Ahmadi Asnawi allowed the police chief's appeal while Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat dissented.
Following this, Indira, who is represented by Aston Paiva and DAP lawmaker M Kulasegaran, took her case to the Federal Court.
Paiva had argued that Ridhwan only possesses a custody order from the Syariah Court, and not from the civil courts.
Furthermore, he said Ridhwan had failed to appear in court for the past six or seven years.
However, senior federal counsel Suzana Atan told the apex court that the matter is a private dispute and should not involve the police and government.
The judiciary's number two, Court of Appeal president Justice Md Raus Sharif, is leading the five-member bench.
The verdict, however, might only be delivered by four judges since Justice Abdull Hamid Embong retired from the Federal Court early this year.
Meanwhile, Indira is also challenging the unilateral conversion of her three children by her former husband and the matter is fixed for leave to appeal on May 19.
Eight questions of law have been posed for this purpose and although the questions are not known, they are expected to be on the issues of:
- Malaysia's position in international convention like the United Nations convention on the rights of a child, of which Malaysia is a signatory
- Jurisdiction between the civil and syariah courts and
- Whether children born out of a marriage from civil law must comply with the Administration of the Religion of Islam enactment of the respective states.