Federal Court upholds sanctity of court orders ― Gurdial Singh Nijar

APRIL 29 ― The Federal Court today ordered the IGP to arrest Indira Gandhi’s ex-husband for contempt of court over his refusal to hand custody of their youngest child to her in the high-profile child conversion case.

In a single stroke, the apex Malaysian court has restored confidence in the judicial process and the rule of law.

“He is wilfully disobeying the court order and he still refuses to hand over Prasana Diksa to the appellant. He defended his action when he was found guilty of not obeying the custody order and he appealed to the Federal Court.

But when his appeal was struck out, he disappeared with Prasana Diksa (the daughter),” Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif, who led a 5-panel bench, declared in the unanimous decision.

It is a little disturbing that a legitimate court order has been ignored with impunity by the foremost law enforcement officer since it was made in 2014.

The Federal Court’s decision makes clear that the IGP was wrong to think that he was in the quandary he claimed to be in because, he said, there was also another order from the Syariah High Court granting custody to the father. But the High Court Ipoh High Court judge Justice Lee Swee Seng had ruled that the IGP must enforce the civil court’s orders, not that of the shariah court.

There are indeed avenues open in the alleged predicament that the IGP says he was in. It must be a matter of regret that these were not pursued proactively.

* Gurdial Singh Nijar is a former professor of law at University of Malaya.

** This is the personal opinion of the writer or publication and does not necessarily represent the views of Malay Mail Online.

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