PETALING JAYA: The Federal Court’s decision to grant civil courts the right to decide on custody of children converted to Islam will put the problem of conflicting court orders to rest, says MIC president Datuk Seri Dr S. Subramaniam.
He said the ruling would also allow police to enforce the civil court’s orders without reservation, adding that it was an important step towards protecting the rights of mothers.
“The five-man Federal Court panel has ruled that the civil courts are solely empowered to dissolve civil marriages and deal with the custody, care and control of children born from such union.
“With this ruling, that trap door is shut and it is only the civil court that may deal with the issue of custody,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Dr Subramaniam said that in almost all instances of dispute involving a converted spouse and the non-converting one, the former would have surreptitiously converted the children of the civil marriage.
“In doing so, the converted spouse would further seek custody of the children from the Syariah Courts,” he said.
MIC Youth chief C. Sivarraajh said the Federal Court ruling had brought clarity to what seemed to be a grey area of law.
“I applaud and thank the Bench. All non-Muslim marriages and divorce matters clearly come under the jurisdiction and purview of civil courts.
“I hope the parents accept the verdict positively and move on, focusing on raising the children well.”
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