Abuse case girl torn away from grandaunt

Source: The Star Online

PETALING JAYA: A crying seven-year-old hung on desperately to a grandaunt who had cared for her for three years as her paternal grandmother, who had been earlier accused of abusing the child, tried to pull her away.

In a strange twist, the grandmother was granted custody of the child in a Sessions Court.

However, the girl refused to go with the older woman and a heart-wrenching 20-minute tussle ensued before the girl was dragged into a car and taken away.

The seven-year-old had been cared for by the grandaunt over the past three years after members of her immediate family were accused of abusing her.

The case came to light in 2013 when the grandaunt (the father’s aunt) lodged a police report against the father and paternal grandparents, claiming the then four-year-old girl had complained to her that she had been sexually abused. Read more

Indira Gandhi wins leave to challenge children’s unilateral conversion

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

PUTRAJAYA, May 19 — The Federal Court today allowed Hindu mother M. Indira Gandhi to go ahead with her challenge against the validity of the unilateral conversion of her three children by her Muslim convert ex-husband.

The Federal Court gave its order after senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan said the federal government was not objecting to two of the eight questions of law previously posed by Indira.

“Application is allowed in terms of question one, five and the additional question submitted,” Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin said.

The two other judges on today’s panel are Tan Sri Abu Samah Nordin and Datuk Aziah Ali.

Today’s decision means the Federal Court will consider three questions of law in its hearing of Indira’s appeal. Read more

M. Indira Gandhi’s application for leave to appeal over the conversion of her three children to Islam [Updated]

Source: The Malay Mail Online

File picture shows M. Indira Gandhi at Court of Appeal, Putrajaya, December 30, 2015. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

File picture shows M. Indira Gandhi at Court of Appeal, Putrajaya, December 30, 2015. ― Picture by Saw Siow Feng

PUTRAJAYA, Feb 26 — The Federal Court has set May 19 to hear an application by kindergarten teacher M. Indira Gandhi for leave to appeal over the conversion of her three children to Islam.

The matter came up for case management today before Federal Court judge Datuk Zaharah Ibrahim and she fixed the hearing date.

Present at the case management proceedings today were Indira Gandhi’s counsel M. Kulasegaran and Aston Paiva; lawyer Hatim Musa for Indira Gandhi’s ex-husband Muhammad Riduan Abdullah; senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan for the Education Ministry and the Government of Malaysia and also Perak state legal advisor Datuk Rohana Malik.

In a media statement, Kulasegaran said they had informed the court that they would like to request certain judges including Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria and Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif to recuse themselves from hearing the leave-to-appeal application.

“We have also asked for a panel of judges who are multiracial, multi- religious as per the population of the country and, finally, it should be multi-gender based,” he said.

Indira Gandhi, 40, is seeking to appeal to the Federal Court against the Court of Appeal 2-1 majority verdict reinstating the conversion certificates of her three children.

Under the law, she must first obtain leave (permission) from the Federal Court before proceeding with her appeal to that court.

Eight legal questions have been framed for the Federal Court to consider.

Indira Gandhi succeeded in her bid at the Ipoh High Court to quash the children’s conversion certificates but the Court of Appeal overturned the High Court decision.

The Court of Appeal majority decision on Dec 30 last year ruled that the civil High Court did not have the jurisdiction to decide on the validity of children’s conversion which was under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Syariah Court to determine.

That Court of Appeal had allowed the appeals by the director of the Perak Islamic Religious Department and two others, the Government of Malaysia, Education Ministry and the children’s father to set aside the High Court order that quashed the children’s conversion certificates.

The children were converted to Islam by their father, Muhammad Riduan Abdullah (formerly known as K. Pathmanathan), in April 2009 without Indira Gandhi’s consent after his conversion to Islam. The children were then aged 12, 11, and 11 months.

The three children, two girls and a boy, are now aged 18, 17 and seven.

The Ipoh Civil High Court nullified the Syariah Court order that gave custody of the children to Muhammad Riduan after it ruled that the Syariah High Court did not have the jurisdiction to grant the custody order when one party (the mother) was not a Muslim.

That court had allowed Indira Gandhi’s judicial review application for an order that the children’s certificates of conversion were null and void. — Bernama

 

Outcome of hearing on 19 May 2016: Indira Gandhi wins leave to challenge children’s unilateral conversion

Muslim NGO asserts unilateral conversions of children unjust, against Islam

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Datuk Thasleem Mohd Ibrahim asserts that unilateral conversion of children to Islam is against one of the key principles of the religion, justice, and is therefore ‘haram’ or forbidden. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

Datuk Thasleem Mohd Ibrahim asserts that unilateral conversion of children to Islam is against one of the key principles of the religion, justice, and is therefore ‘haram’ or forbidden. ― Picture by Choo Choy May

KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 ― The high-profile case of Hindu mother Indira Gandhi’s long-drawn out court battle over her three children converted to Islam by their father without her knowledge or permission has gained her sympathy over the past seven years.

Some of the support has come from unexpected sources, like Muslim non-governmental organisation Jihad for Justice.

Its chairman Datuk Thasleem Mohd Ibrahim asserts that unilateral conversion of children to Islam is against one of the key principles of the religion, justice, and is therefore “haram” or forbidden.

“I’ve categorically told the Perak Islamic Religious Department that the unilateral conversion of the kids is haram because it’s an injustice,” he told Malay Mail Online in a recent interview.

Thasleem has been a vocal supporter of Indira’s legal right to seek the reversal of her three children’s 2009 unilateral conversion, which had been granted by the High Court in 2010 but cancelled by the Court of Appeal last year. Read more

Why Indira Gandhi’s bid to reverse her children’s conversion matters

Source: The Malay Mail Online

M. Indira Gandhi (second left) is seeking finality over the religious status of her three children who were covertly converted to Islam by her Muslim ex-husband in 2009 without their knowledge. ― Picture by Yiswaree Palansamy

M. Indira Gandhi (second left) is seeking finality over the religious status of her three children who were covertly converted to Islam by her Muslim ex-husband in 2009 without their knowledge. ― Picture by Yiswaree Palansamy

KUALA LUMPUR, May 19 ― Hindu mother M. Indira Gandhi’s bid at the Federal Court today to annul her children’s unilateral conversions is one woman’s ordeal that will have far-reaching effects on Malaysians in a similar dilemma.

In and out of courts for years, Indira is seeking finality over the religious status of her three children who were covertly converted to Islam by her Muslim ex-husband in 2009 without their knowledge or their presence.

“At last, finally once and for all, I can know the status of my children. It’s been dragging for too long,” the Ipoh-based kindergarten teacher told Malay Mail Online when contacted ahead of today’s hearing for leave to appeal. Read more

Federal Court upholds sanctity of court orders ― Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Malay Mail Online

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(HAKAM Deputy President)

APRIL 29 ― The Federal Court today ordered the IGP to arrest Indira Gandhi’s ex-husband for contempt of court over his refusal to hand custody of their youngest child to her in the high-profile child conversion case.

In a single stroke, the apex Malaysian court has restored confidence in the judicial process and the rule of law.

“He is wilfully disobeying the court order and he still refuses to hand over Prasana Diksa to the appellant. He defended his action when he was found guilty of not obeying the custody order and he appealed to the Federal Court. Read more

Federal Court orders IGP to arrest Indira Gandhi’s ex-spouse for contempt

Source: The Malay Mail Online

M.Indira Gandhi (second left) is all smiles after the Federal Court ruling today which ordered IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to locate and arrest her Muslim convert ex-husband Mohd Riduan Abdullah for contempt of court. ― Picture by Yiswaree Palansamy

M.Indira Gandhi (second left) is all smiles after the Federal Court ruling today which ordered IGP Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to locate and arrest her Muslim convert ex-husband Mohd Riduan Abdullah for contempt of court. ― Picture by Yiswaree Palansamy

PUTRAJAYA, April 29 — The Federal Court ordered the national police chief today to arrest M. Indira Gandhi’s ex-husband for contempt of court over his refusal to hand custody of their youngest child to her in the high-profile child conversion case.

The Federal Court also upheld the initial mandamus order issued by the Ipoh High Court to Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, ordering the court to monitor the procedures to track and to arrest Muslim convert Muhammad Riduan Abdullah following today’s decision.

The four-men bench at the apex court today ruled that the committal order against Muhammad Riduan was justified as he has repeatedly failed to produce the couple’s child — Prasana Diksa, now aged seven — in court.

“Pathmanathan despite having exhausted all avenues with regards to the custody order granted by a civil high court, is now willfully disobeying the courts, after his application for leave appeal was rejected by this court, he still refused to hand over Prasana Diksa to the appellant,” Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif, who led the bench, said today in the unanimous decision, referring to Muhammad Riduan by his name at birth.

“When he was found guilty for contempt of court with regards to custody order, he appealed to the Court of Appeal, but when his appeal was struck out, he disappeared together with Prasana Diksa.

“The chronology in this case shows that Pathmanathan has no respect for the court’s order, that he willingly submitted himself to the civil court and due process was accorded to him, but when the case didn’t turn out to be in his favour, decided to disobey the court’s order,” he added. Read more

Mothers who had to fight hard for child custody after a divorce

Source: The Star Online

Stories of women who had to fight for the custody of their children after a divorce. Photo: The Star/Azman Ghani

Stories of women who had to fight for the custody of their children after a divorce. Photo: The Star/Azman Ghani

Aida goes up against the legal system

Aida has been trying to get a divorce from her estranged husband for four years. She’d been abused throughout their marriage and to add insult to injury, he’d taken a second wife without her knowledge. Still, she has been unable to obtain a divorce.

“He refuses to talak and the judge is unwilling to step in even though I have multiple police reports documenting the abuse I have experienced. According to my husband, since want a divorce I have to pay for it, literally, until he is ready to talak,” says the teacher who has raised her three children on her own for the past four years.

Aida’s husband has not fulfilled his duties as a husband and father, but he refuses to grant Aida her divorce out of spite, and because he knows the law favours him.

Muslim women face unequal rights when seeking a divorce. Unlike non-muslim women who have equal rights to marriage and divorce as men under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1967 (LRA), says Aliah Ali, communications officer for Sisters in Islam. Read more