Government committed to resolve cross-faith child custody cases

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Source: The Malay Mail Online

M. Indira Gandhi is pictured at the Court of Appeal, Putrajaya, December 30, 2015. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

M. Indira Gandhi is pictured at the Court of Appeal, Putrajaya, December 30, 2015. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 — A Cabinet minister tasked with looking into the long-standing child custody battle involving M. Indira Gandhi is confident the latest committee would provide solutions in ensuring such cases will be a thing of the past.

Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam said: “We had solutions then (in 2009) and presented it but it did not materialise due to certain issues.

“Now, we have several ideas and even thought of alternatives if our suggestions hit a roadblock. I can’t get into details but we are looking at every aspect, including civil law, religious sensitivities and also consent from the Rulers who are the guardians of Islam.”

Dr Subramaniam, together with Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, are part of a new group that met the attorney-general on Thursday to find ways to resolve the case.

Dr Subramaniam, who is also MIC president, was part of the first group formed in 2009, while Nazri held the post of de facto law minister when the legal dispute involving Indira first started that year. Jamil Khir and Minister in Prime Minister’s Department Nancy Shukri was part of a second group tasked to look into the case.

“The Cabinet discussed this matter during our meeting on Wednesday. Let me make it very clear … the whole Cabinet is eager to move forward including Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Razak) who want to see this matter end in an amicable manner,” he said.

Dr Subramaniam said this was not a situation where the executive was trying to influence the judiciary.

“No, it is nothing of that sort. We want to put the law straight. Right now, there are many loopholes (in the law) and people are exploiting these loopholes.

“We want to deal with the laws and amend it where required.”

Indira’s daughter Prasana Diksa, then aged 11 months, and her two other children Karan Dinish and Tevi Darsiny then aged 11 and 12 respectively, were snatched from her by her Muslim convert ex-spouse Muhammad Riduan Abdullah. He converted all three children in their absence and without Indira’s consent.

She has not seen her daughter since. Prasana turns eight on April 8.

When told Indira will celebrate her 41st birthday today, Subramaniam said: “I think all of us share her anguish. Her child was taken away from her and this is something that should not be allowed. The government feels for her and hope to correct the situation.”

 

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