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Monday, June 30, 2014

IGP gets stay in Izwan vs Deepa custody battle


The Seremban Syariah High Court today granted inspector-general of police Khalid Abu Bakar a stay of execution on an order compelling police to assist in the retrieval of the children of N Viran @ Izwan Abdullah, who is involved in a custody battle.

The court had earlier granted the IGP to be an intervener in the ex-parte application.

The decision was made by judge  Kamal Bashah Ahmad Tajuddin, after hearing submissions from lawyers Zulkifli Che Yong (left) and Azmi Mohd Rais in chambers.

The Seremban Syariah High Court had previously issued an order to the police to assist in the recovery of N Viran @ Izwan Abdullah's children from his former wife S Deepa.

Deepa had on April 7 this year obtained an order from the High Court in Seremban for the custody rights over her two children.

On Sept 19 last year, the Seremban Syariah High Court granted custody of Izwan's two children to him.

The decision today follows a separate order from the same Syariah High Court compelling the police to find and retrieve the children.

Zulkifli told reporters that the ex-parte stay order gained today is pending a decision on the jurisdiction of the civil and syariah courts on this interfaith child custody dispute, which would be decided by the Court of Appeal or the Federal Court.

It is understood that the IGP had, through the Attorney-General's Chambers, also filed an application in the civil High Court in for a stay of execution of an order on them brought by Deepa (right), who was granted custody of both children by the civil court.

Attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail had applied for the stay order for the IGP, through the firm of Zulkifli Yong Azmi and Co in the Seremban Syariah High Court last Thursday.

Application so as not to interfere in custody battle

Zulkifli told reporters that the IGP is filing the application so as not to interfere in the inter-faith custody dispute but as there are conflicting orders from the syariah and civil courts, it was difficult on the police to react.

He said there was conflicting jurisdiction as the civil courts relied on Article 121 while the syariah courts on Article 121 (1A)

“The syariah court has agreed to suspend the order they gave against the police sought by Izwan until the Court of Appeal or Federal Court decide on the jurisdiction of the syariah and civil courts in such cases and also determine Section 52 of the Child Act,” he said.

Following this, he said the IGP filed this intervener application and had sought the ex-parte order as this is an urgent matter and of public interest.

Viran was also present for a short while before the proceeding, while being accompanied by two non-governmental organisation members from Angkatan Skuad Mubaligh Malaysia.

The inter-faith dispute which is a personal matter had become a matter of public interest following the protracted custody dispute between Viran and Deepa.

Although initially Deepa regained custody of the two children in April following the Seremban High Court order, Viran took his six-year-old son two days after the order.

Now the couple’s nine-year-old son is staying with the mother.

It was reported that Abdul Gani had in a statement indicated its intention to intervene and get a stay order in Deepa and M Indiria Gandhi’s dispute to resolve cases of inter-faith custody dispute once and for all.

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