THE Malaysian Bar is concerned that the case concerning Indira Gandhi and her daughter has yet to meet a resolution more than 10 years since it began.
The case has once again arisen in the media, in light of revelations by the Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Abdul Hamid Bador stating that he knows where Indira’s ex-husband is, and asking him to come forward: “Enough hiding, come forward, let us settle this so that you can stay in the country and your children can have a proper education” (“IGP urges Indira Gandhi’s ex-husband to come forward, says his whereabouts are known”, The Star, Jan 31; online at bit.ly/star_known).
The case concerned the unilateral conversion of three children that were the product of a civil law marriage by their father, Muhammad Riduan Abdullah, then a newly converted Muslim, without the knowledge or consent of Indira, the non-converting parent. The Federal Court had in 2018 unanimously ruled that the unilateral conversion of the three children was null and void, holding that the consent of both parents was needed to convert a minor.
Controversy still surrounds the status of the youngest child, Prasana Diksa, who was reported to have been abducted by Muhammad Riduan Abdullah. It is also reported that Indira has not had any contact with either her daughter or her ex-husband. It is in view of these facts that the revelations by the IGP are startling and warrant immediate action.
It is not for the police in such cases to mediate between the enforcement of the decision of the Federal Court and the parties of the case, or to strive for a “win-win” outcome to the case. It is imperative, within our Constitutional scheme, that the various branches of government, and the agencies that constitute these branches, comply and act in accordance with the pronouncements of such court orders.
The separation of powers is designed to be a system of checks and balances. Any act, on the part of any officer, contrary to the pronouncements of the decision of the court, would create chaos and discord in society.
The Malaysian Bar, therefore, calls on the IGP to carry out and enforce the 2018 pronouncement of the Federal Court, and to pursue the immediate return of Prasana Diksa to her mother.
President, Malaysian Bar
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