PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court here has heard the submission of an appeal by kindergarten teacher M. Indira Gandhi, after her former husband, a Muslim convert, did not turn up in court to explain why he had failed to return their youngest child to her.
Indira's counsel K. Shanmuga told the five-man panel of judges that Muhammad Riduan Abdullah, 46, was not present nor was their eight-year-old daughter Prasana Diksa.
He then suggested the Court proceeded with the appeal by Indira, 41.
Chief Judge of Malaya Justice Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin said they had no objection to allow Muhammad Riduan's counsel Hatim Musa to represent the party (without his client's presence).
Shanmuga did not object.
The legal tussle began in April 2009 when Muhammad Riduan took Prasana, then 11 months old, and two other children and converted them to Islam.
The two older children – Tevi, then 12, and Karan, then 11 – remained with Indira.
On Oct 29 the same year, Muhammad Riduan obtained a Syariah Court order that awarded him custody of the children.
In the ensuing custody battle, the Ipoh High Court granted Indira full custody of all three children and on March 11, 2010, the father was ordered to return Prasana to her mother.
The Federal Court on April 29 this year ordered the Inspector-General of Police to execute a warrant for the arrest of Muhammad Riduan for disobeying the order.
He has since been placed on the police's wanted list.