Federal Court erred in giving custody to Muslim convert, says Bar chief

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 23, 2016.

Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 23, 2016.

The Malaysian Bar has expressed its disappointment with the Federal Court’s decision to grant Muslim convert custody of his son despite being in contempt of a High Court order.

Its president, Steven Thiru, said Izwan Abdullah (or N.Viran) defied the High Court custody order as well as a specific order prohibiting him from removing the children from ex-wife, S. Deepa.

He said Deepa was compelled to obtain a recovery order to direct the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and his officers to regain custody of her son, Mithran (Nabil) from Izwan.

“They did not comply with the recovery order, on the basis that there were conflicting custody orders by the Shariah Court and High Court,” he said in a statement. Read more

Shariah court custody order valid in Deepa-Izwan case, says Federal Court

Source: The Malaysian Insider

The Federal Court says in the case of S. Deepa v. Izwan Abdullah, the Shariah court custody order is valid until it is set aside. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 15, 2016.

The Federal Court said a custody order issued by the Seremban Shariah court to Muslim convert Izwan Abdullah is valid even though religious courts have no jurisdiction to dissolve civil marriages.

Judge Tan Sri Raus Sharif said a custody order by the Shariah court was lawful under section 52 (2) of the Child Act.

“We are of the view that, in light of the existence of the two conflicting custodial orders, the High Court judge should not have entertained the application of the ex-wife (S. Deepa) for the recovery of Mithran from her ex-husband,” Raus said in the judgment released today. Read more

Hanya Mahkamah Tinggi boleh beri remedi kepada pasangan selepas tukar agama

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

A picture of the Kuala Lumpur High Court in this picture dated February 5, 2015. The Federal Court ruled in the S. Deepa v. Izwan Abdullah interfaith custody case that only the High Court can give remedy to spouse even if the partner converted. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 15, 2016.

A picture of the Kuala Lumpur High Court in this picture dated February 5, 2015. The Federal Court ruled in the S. Deepa v. Izwan Abdullah interfaith custody case that only the High Court can give remedy to spouse even if the partner converted. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 15, 2016.

Pindaan 1988 kepada Mahkamah Persekutuan untuk menghentikan mahkamah sivil daripada campur tangan dalam hal ehwal Mahkamah Syariah tidak termasuk Mahkamah Tinggi daripada memberikan remedi kepada individu jika pasangannya menukar agama kepada Islam, kata Mahkamah Persekutuan menerusi penghakimannya minggu lalu dalam perbalahan hak penjagaan anak berbeza agama.

Hakim Tan Sri Raus Sharif berkata, dalam kes itu, bekas suami (Izwan Abdullah) dan bekas isteri (S Deepa) beragama Hindu ketika berkahwin.

“Dengan mengenakan perkahwinan sivil di bawah Akta Memperharui Undang-undang (LRA) 1976, mereka terikat dengan peruntukan berkaitan perceraian dan hak jagaan anak daripada perkahwinan itu. Read more

Muslim lawyers: Where is the justice for Muslim converts in Deepa ruling?

Source: The Malay Mail Online

S. Deepa speaks to members of the media at the Federal Court in Putrajaya. — Picture by Yusoff Mat Isa

S. Deepa speaks to members of the media at the Federal Court in Putrajaya. — Picture by Yusoff Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 ― The Federal Court ruling this week in an interfaith child custody battle has failed to consider the access to justice for Muslim converts, Muslim Lawyers Association of Malaysia president Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar asserted today.

Zainul Rijal claimed that mainstream Muslims in Malaysia are dissatisfied with the Federal Court’s ruling in the case of Hindu mother S. Deepa and her Muslim convert ex-husband Izwan Abdullah, in which the apex court declared the civil courts as having sole jurisdiction to determine divorce and child custody rights in civil marriages.

“Often times it is said that the rights of those who did not convert to Islam have been denied, that non-Muslims have been oppressed.

“But almost no one have presented the fact that the rights ― of those who converted to Islam or Muslim converts ― in civil law to dissolve their marriages are not recognised at all. Where is the justice for these Muslim converts?” he wrote in his opinion piece in Malay-language daily Sinar Harian today. Read more

Court gave ‘disobedient’ Muslim convert custody, says lawyers’ group

Source: The Malaysian Insider

The Federal Court has rewarded a Muslim convert with custody of his son even though he was in contempt of a Seremban High Court order, says a lawyers’ group.

Lawyers for Liberty legal and campaign coordinator Melissa Sasidaran said Izwan Abdullah snatched his son Mithran (Nabil) from his ex-wife two days after the court granted custody to S. Deepa in 2014.

“The Federal Court seems to be rewarding a wrongdoer who had blatantly disregarded the High Court order, thus giving the impression that a wrongdoer can abuse the legal process and benefit from it,” she said in a statement today. Read more

Ibu Hindu harap kes rebut anak jadi yang terakhir di Malaysia

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

S Deepa bercakap kepada media selepas selesai perbicaraan di Mahkamah Persekutuan, Putrajaya, hari ini. Dia akur keputusan mahkamah walaupun tidak berpuas hati kerana hanya berjaya memperoleh hak penjagaan seorang anak sahaja. – Gambar The Malaysian Insider oleh Kamal Ariffin, 10 Februari, 2016.

S Deepa, ibu Hindu yang merebut penjagaan anaknya selepas bekas suami menukar agama 2 anak kecil mereka kepada Islam mengharapkan kes sepertinya tidak berulang lagi di Malaysia.

Mengakui tidak berpuas hati dengan keputusan Mahkamah Persekutuan kerana hanya memperoleh hak penjagaan anak perempuan manakala anak lelaki diserahkan kepada bekas suaminya, Izwan Abdullah, Deepa berkata beliau terpaksa akur dengan arahan tersebut.

“Saya harap Malaysia tukar sikap, jangan ada ibu tunggal seperti saya yang tidak ada jawapan, biar kes ini yang terakhir.

“Malaysia tolong berubah. Saya hadapi kesukaran, duit, masalah kerja, semua saya lalui tetapi jawapan sekarang, hanya anak perempuan ada pada saya, anak lelaki dipisahkan daripada saya. Memang tidak adil,” katanya kepada pemberita di Mahkamah Persekutuan di Putrajaya hari ini. Read more

Court gives girl to Hindu mother, son to Muslim dad

Source: FMT News

The Syariah Court has no jurisdiction to declare annulment of a civil marriage and to give a custody order.

Izwan Abdullah, formerly known as N Viran in a custody battle with ex-wife S. Deepa

Izwan Abdullah, formerly known as N Viran in a custody battle with ex-wife S. Deepa

PUTRAJAYA: A Federal Court panel has made a variation to the High Court custody order on the two children who were awarded to their Hindu mother S Deepa.

“We have met them, interviewed them. Nabil (son) clearly stated he wants to be with his father while Sharmila (daughter) wants to be with her mother,” said Court of Appeal president Justice Raus Sharif.

“We have set aside the High Court custody order. Nabil follows his father while Sharmila follows her mother.” Read more

Civil court should decide on custody of converted children, Federal Court rules

Source: The Malaysian Insider

S. Deepa will continue to have custody over her daughter Sharmila, while her former husband, Izwan Abdullah, over their son, the Federal Court rules today. – The Malaysian Insider pic by Kamal Ariffin, February 10, 2016.

The Federal Court ruled today that it is the civil court that should decide the custody of children who were converted to Islam.

A five-man bench chaired by Tan Sri Raus Sharif said a non-Muslim marriage did not dissolve when one party embraced Islam.

“Divorce and custody of non-Muslim marriages are exclusive jurisdiction of the civil court,” he said in dismissing Izwan Abdullah’s appeal.

Raus said a non-Muslim spouse could not abuse his conversion to Islam to escape his obligation. Read more

Mahkamah Sivil forum tepat putuskan hak jagaan anak mualaf, kata Mahkamah Persekutuan

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

Plaintif S. Deepa tiba di Mahkamah Tinggi Putrajaya bagi kes hak penjagaan anak-anaknya, hari ini. Hakim memutuskan perkahwinan bukan Islam tidak dibubarkan apabila salah satu pihak memeluk Islam. – Gambar The Malaysian Insider oleh Kamal Ariffin 10 Februari, 2016.

Mahkamah Persekutuan hari ini memutuskan Mahkamah Sivil perlu menentukan hak penjagaan kanak-kanak yang memeluk agama Islam.

Panel 5 hakim diketuai Tan Sri Raus Sharif berkata, perkahwinan bukan Islam tidak dibubarkan apabila salah satu pihak memeluk Islam.

“Perceraian dan hak penjagaan anak bagi perkahwinan bukan Islam adalah bidang kuasa eksklusif mahkamah sivil,” katanya ketika menolak rayuan Izwan Abdullah.

Raus berkata, pasangan bukan Islam tidak boleh menyalahgunakan faktor memeluk agama Islam bagi melarikan diri obligasinya.

Panel hakim itu bagaimanapun, memutuskan dalam kes ini, S. Deepa akan terus mempunyai hak penjagaan ke atas anak perempuannya Sharmila manakala, Izwan terhadap Mithran. Read more

Federal Court decision on child custody dispute: Viran a/l Nagappan vs S. Deepa

Source: The Malaysian Insider

The Federal Court will rule tomorrow on a custody dispute initiated by a Hindu mother after her former husband converted their two children to Islam.

The decision of the apex court will be of interest to many, including the legal fraternity, as it will have a bearing on the Court of Appeal ruling in a similar case involving M. Indira Gandhi that conversion matters must be heard in the Shariah Court.

Lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, appearing for Muslim convert Izwan Abdullah, said the Federal Court informed parties of the judgment date early this week.

“Both parents will have to bring along the children under their custody as instructed by the court earlier,” he told The Malaysian Insider.

The case to be decided tomorrow involves S. Deepa, who filed for custody after her former husband Izwan converted Sharmila (Nurul Nabila), now 11, and Mithran (Nabil), 8, to Islam.

A five-man bench chaired by Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif, who is also Court of Appeal president, heard submissions from lawyers for Deepa and Izwan on June 25 last year.

Haniff submitted that the civil court had no jurisdiction to hear the custody.

He told the bench that the Guardianship of Infants Act 1961 prohibited the civil court from making custody orders on Muslim children.

He also said section 51 (2) of the Law Reform Act 1976 only allowed the civil court to issue custody orders on non-Muslim children once a divorce petition was filed due to conversion to Islam by one of the spouses.

“The civil court (High Court) cannot decide on the custody issue because Izwan had unilaterally converted his children to Islam,” he said in the appeal brought by Izwan against a Court of Appeal ruling in 2014 granting custody of the children to Deepa.

Haniff said unlike Indira, Deepa did not contest the conversion.

But lawyer Fahri Azzat, who appeared for Deepa, told the Federal Court that the Guardianship of Infants Act was only applicable if the children’s parents were dead which was not the case here.

“It is the High Court that has the jurisdiction because the marriage of Deepa and Viran (now Izwan) was registered under civil law,” he added.

Fahri said although Izwan was a Muslim, he could submit to the civil court to settle all matrimonial issues with Deepa because the civil marriage was governed under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act.

The lawyer said a shariah court was an inferior tribunal and the High Court had supervisory role over any religious court that acted beyond its jurisdiction.

On April 7, 2014, the Seremban High Court granted Deepa custody of the couple’s two children. The decision overrode an April 2012 Shariah Court order granting Izwan custody.

But two days later Izwan abducted Mithran from Deepa’s home in Jelebu and has been holding on to the boy ever since.

Deepa then obtained a recovery order from the High Court on May 21, 2014 to get police to search for Izwan and Mithran.

On December 17, 2014 the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court order granting custody of the children to Deepa. – February 9, 2016