IPOH: The counsel for Mohd Ridzuan Abdullah, the Muslim-convert former husband of kindergarten teacher M. Indira Gandhi, has discharged himself from representing him in contempt proceedings.
Counsel Asmuni Awi told a High Court here yesterday that he would not be representing Mohd Ridzuan, who was formerly known as K. Patmanathan.
He told High Court judge Lee Swee Seng that he received a letter from his client on May 7, stating that he had no objection for the counsel to discharge himself.
“We have not been receiving sufficient instructions and cooperation from him and he has not heeded our advice to attend court proceedings,” he said.
Asmuni said he had told Mohd Ridzuan to be present in court on May 30 for judgment on the contempt matter but was not certain if he had engaged the services of another counsel.
High Court judge Lee, who is presiding over contempt proceedings filed by Indira Gandhi against Mohd Ridzuan to compel him to return their five-year-old child to her, granted the application by Asmuni.
He also approved another application by Indira’s lawyer M. Kulasegaran to serve documents to Mohd Ridzuan’s solicitors instead of the defendant himself.
In April 2009, Mohd Ridzuan took away Prasana Diksa, then 11 months old, and converted the child and two siblings – Tevi Darsiny, then 12, and Karan Dinish, then 11 – to Islam.
The High Court then granted Indira full custody of all three children and on March 11, 2010, Mohd Ridzuan was ordered to return Prasana to the mother.
The two elder children are with their mother but the father has yet to hand over Prasana, prompting Indira to file contempt proceedings against her former husband.