KUALA LUMPUR, April 11 — The police will not investigate a Muslim father accused of abducting his six-year-old son despite a civil High Court awarding custody to the Hindu mother, the country’s police chief said today.
Inspector-General of Police (IGP) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar said the father, a Hindu-turned-Muslim who now goes by the name Izwan Abdullah, had also won custody at the Shariah High Court.
“Do you call that an abduction, was that a kidnapping?
“A father doesn’t kidnap his child. The police are not very worried about the child’s safety because he is with his father,” Khalid told reporters here.
Deepa Subramaniam, a Hindu, had filed a police report two days ago claiming her estranged husband had forcibly taken their son, Mithran Viran, from outside her house in Jelebu, Negri Sembilan.
The couple also have a daughter, a nine-year-old, from before their marriage collapsed.
Jelebu district police chief Setapa Yusof was reported by The Star daily earlier today saying the police were unable to take action due to the two conflicting court orders.
“As far as we are concerned, we cannot investigate Izwan for abducting his son. We have to respect and obey the orders issued by both courts,” he told The Star yesterday.
Deepa, in a police report lodged on the incident yesterday, said Izwan sped off with the boy in a green Pajero, and that she sustained injuries when she gave a chase as her clothes were caught in the car door.
The IGP pointed out that as of now no warrant of arrest has been issued against Izwan for defying the civil court’s custody order granted earlier this week.
“I would advise both the parties to talk this over and to settle the contradictory court orders. As far as we are concerned both court orders are binding on the police,” said Khalid.
According to Women’s Aid Organisation (WAO), Deepa is a victim of domestic violence and had lodged multiple police reports against Izwan in the past.
On Monday, the Seremban High Court granted Deepa full custody of her two children as her marriage to Viran in 2004 was a civil union and did not come under Shariah law, also permitting her to divorce Izwan who converted to Islam in 2012.
It remains unclear if the High Court’s judgement overrules an earlier decision by the Shariah Court, which awarded custody of the children to Izwan in April last year.
Izwan is believed to have converted their children in April last year without Deepa’s consent.