Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Indera gandhi's case hearing in Ipoh High Court

Back to square one for Indira

IPOH: The High Court has temporarily stayed a decision handed down by another court giving interim custody of three children to their mother M. Indira Gandhi.

Justice Wan Afrah Wan Ibrahim yesterday granted an ad-interim stay on the order, pending the court’s decision on May 14 on contempt proceedings initiated by Indira Gandhi’s lawyers against her husband, K. Patmanathan.

Indira Gandhi’s counsel Augustine Anthony said the proceedings came about as Patmanathan had allegedly failed to comply with the previous court order and did not surrender his youngest daughter, one-year-old Prasana Diksa, to his wife.

The matter, heard in chambers, was raised as a preliminary objection in the hearing of Patmanathan’s application to set aside the custody order.

The husband, who was not present but was represented by counsel Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdullah, had also applied for a stay of execution on the order.

Mohamed Haniff maintained that his client did not commit contempt of court.

On April 24, High Court judicial commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim granted interim custody of Tevi Darsiny, 12, Karan Dinish, 11, and Prasana to Indira Gandhi.

Despite this, the 34-year-old Indira Gandhi, who is currently staying with her two older children, had been unable to locate her husband to retrieve her youngest child.

She has since been seeking help from the police and the public, by distributing some 5,000 posters of her husband and Prasana across the state.
Malaysiakini News
The custody battle in the latest conversion case has gone back to square one as the Ipoh High Court today granted a stay on the ex-parte order which gave the custody of three children, who were forcibly converted to Islam by their father, to their mother M Indira Ghandi.

Indira’s husband, K Patmanathan, acting through his lawyer, obtained an order in chambers today to halt the order on April 24 which gave Indira full custody of their children until the custody hearing.Currently two of the children Tevi Darsiny, 12, and Karan Dinesh, 11, are with Indira while the youngest child, one-year-old Prasana Diksa, is with her husband Patmanathan, who has since assumed the name Mohd Redzuan Abdullah.
The court had also instructed Mohd Redzuan to return Prasana, whom he had gone into hiding with, to his wife and ordered the police to provide assistance to Indira with regards to this.The court which had initially set May 12 to hear the case, postponed the trial to May 14.
Indira's lawyer, M Kulasegaran, told Malaysiakini today that they had also filed for contempt of court against Mohd Redzuan, as he was “evading service of the injunction and other orders that were granted on April 24, as he still has not returned the baby”. Judge Wan Afrah Wan Ibrahim granted an ad-interim stay on the order pending the court’s decision on May 14 on the contempt-of-court application initiated by Indira's counsels.'Directive is not enforceable'Commenting further, Kulasegaran said: “The cabinet directive had once more come to a nought”.
Earlier, Indira who was in danger of losing her children after discovering that her husband had converted to Islam last month and also converted their children without her knowledge, had approached various parties to sort out her dilemma. In an exclusive interview with Malaysiakini last month, she also claimed that her husband had converted their three children without their presence and by only using their birth certificates.
Indira has since sought refuge with a relative in fear that Islamic officials would take the two children away since Mohd Redzuan had obtained a Syariah Court order giving him custody of the children.However, Indira has refused to accept the Syariah Court’s order.“The (cabinet) advice which came from the committee headed by Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Koh Tsu Koon, is ineffective and unenforceable,” said Kulasegaran.
Kulasegaran, who is also the Ipoh Barat DAP parliamentarian, also urged Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Nazri Abdul Aziz (Law and Parliament) to speedily bring about amendments to the laws to bring the directive into effect.“They should set up a special family court to decide on these matters for easier and earlier disposals,” he added, as the court had postponed the case until May 14.
Last week, Mohd Redzuan filed an application through his lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdullah, challenging the cabinet decision to ban parents from secretly converting children to keep the peace and maintain race relations.
The cabinet had announced on April 23 that the law would be changed so that children's conversions would not be allowed without both parents' consent, and children should be raised in the religion of their parents at the time of marriage. Under Syariah law a non-Muslim parent cannot share custody of converted children.

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