KUALA LUMPUR: The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) will be applying to intervene in two interfaith child custody cases, and to seek a stay on both Civil and Syariah High Court orders issued to police to locate the children involved in respective cases.
"The two cases are a matter of public interest as they touch on religious sensitivities as well as a Constitutional issue, and have the potential to threaten public order," said Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail in a statement Thursday.
Gani said the cases had raised constitutional questions with regard to the jurisdiction of Syariah and Civil Courts, especially on the interpretation of Article 121 (1A) of the Federal Constitution.
"In view of this, the A-G's Chambers will apply to intervene in the proceedings of both cases in the Court of Appeal and at the Seremban Syariah High Court.
"The intervention at the Court of Appeal level will be taken so that the issue can be disposed of once and for all in a calm, peaceful and harmonious manner, in accordance with the Federal Constitution and applicable laws," he said.
Gani said the A-G Chambers was also considering an application to the Federal Court to obtain a final decision in relation to Constitutional questions that have arisen from the two cases.
On Sept 19 last year, the Seremban Syariah High Court granted custody of two children to Muslim convert Izwan Abdullah (N. Viran) and on Oct 7, the same Court directed police to assist the father in locating two of his children, Nur Nabila Izwan @ V.Sharmila, aged eight, and Muhammad Nabil Izwan @ V. Mithran, aged five.
However, the Seremban High Court had, on April 7, given custody of the children to S. Deepa, the mother of the children.
On May 21, the same Court ordered for Deepa's son to be returned to her, and authorised police to assist her in getting the child back.
The second custody tussle involved M. Indira Gandhi and Mohamad Riduan Abdullah @ K. Pathmanathan in Perak, where the Ipoh Syariah High Court had on Sept 29, 2009, granted custody of the couple’s three children to the father who had converted to Islam.
However, the Ipoh High Court on March 11, 2010 ordered the children to be placed under Indira's care, with once-a-week access given to the father.
The same court, on May 30 this year, ordered police to locate one of the two daughters, Prasana Diksa (Umu Habibah), and ordered Mohamad Riduan to give custody of her to his former wife.