PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has granted Muslim convert Izwan Abdullah a stay against an order that he return his six-year-old son to his ex-wife S. Deepa (pic).
The five-man panel lead by Chief Justice of Malaya Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin granted a stay Wednesday against orders by all courts below.
This puts a pause on the Court of Appeal decision to uphold the Seremban High Court's decison to grant custody to Deepa and to issue a recovery order to compel the police to return Deepa's son to her.
The panel - which also included Justices Abdull Hamid Embong, Suriyadi Halim Omar, Mohamed Apandi Ali and Zaharah Ibrahim - unanimously granted Izwan leave to appeal against both custody and recovery orders, and the Attorney-General’s Chambers's leave to appeal against the recovery order.
The AGC was acting as an intervenor on behalf of Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar to set aside the order to compel the police chief to recover the child.
On Dec 17 last year, the Court of Appeal upheld the Seremban High Court's decision to give custody to Deepa, despite a conflicting custody ruling by the Seremban Syariah Court.
Referring to the 2007 Federal Court decision in the case of R. Subashini, Justice Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim said the Syariah court's decision has no legal effect on a civil marriage, nor children born of that union.
The three-man panel allowed a stay against the recovery order for the child, pending Izlan's application for leave to appeal to the Federal Court.
Izwan, formerly known as N. Viran, unilaterally converted the children - Nur Nabila @ V. Sharmila, nine, and Nabil @ V. Mithran, six - without Deepa’s knowledge in April 2012.
He then went to the Seremban Syariah Court, where he was given custody of the children.
The Seremban High Court later decided that custody belonged to Deepa.
Despite this, Izwan's was reported to have taken away Mithran on April 9.
On May 21, the High Court ordered that Mithran be returned to Deepa, and gave authority to the police to assist her in getting the son back.