M. Indira Gandhi speaking to the press at the Ipoh police district headquarters. — Picture by Farhan Najib
PUTRAJAYA, Nov 30 — The Court of Appeal has fixed April 18 next year to hear the appeal by the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) and three others against a High Court’s refusal to strike out a nonfeasance lawsuit brought against them by a kindergarten teacher.
The appeal date was fixed following a case management before Court of Appeal deputy registrar Mariam Hasanah Othman today.
Senior federal counsel Azizan Md Arshad from the Attorney General’s Chambers, when contacted, confirmed the hearing date. Indira Gandhi’s lawyer Rajesh Nagarajan also confirmed the date.
The IGP, the Royal Malaysia Police, the Home Ministry and the government filed an appeal against the High Court’s decision on July 16 this year in dismissing their application to strike out the lawsuit filed by M. Indira Gandhi over the authorities’ alleged failure to arrest her ex-husband and return her daughter who was abducted by him.
High Court judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali had instead ordered for the suit to proceed for a full trial.
In the suit filed on October 28, last year, Indira Gandhi, 46, alleged that the IGP had deliberately and negligently disregarded a mandamus order issued by the Federal Court in failing to investigate or take appropriate action to return her youngest child Prasana Diksa.
She claimed that IGP, the Home Ministry and the government had a role to play in making decisions or ordering the police to execute the committal warrant against Muhammad Riduan Abdullah, formerly known as K. Pathmanathan, as ordered by the Federal Court on April 29, 2016.
The woman contended that the behaviour of the appellants had directly caused her separation from her daughter to continue until today and that their behaviour had also caused Muhammad Riduan to flee.
She sought general, aggravated and exemplary damages, as well as a declaration that the IGP had committed the tort of nonfeasance in public office; and the Home Ministry and the government were vicariously liable for the tort of nonfeasance committed by the IGP.
Prasana Diksa was taken away by Muhammad Riduan 12 years ago when she was 11 months old, shortly after he converted to Islam.
In 2009, Muhammad Riduan unilaterally converted their three children to Islam without Indira Gandhi’s consent before he went to the Shariah Court to obtain custody of the children, but in 2018 the Federal Court ruled the unilateral conversion of the three children as null and void.
The Ipoh High Court in 2010 granted full custody of the children to Indira Gandhi.
In 2016, the Federal Court affirmed the mandamus order issued by the High Court directing the police and the appellants to apprehend Muhammad Riduan and retrieve Prasana Diksa to return to Indira Gandhi. — Bernama