PETALING JAYA: A lawyer has criticised Human Resources Minister M Kulasegaran for saying he will meet with the inspector-general of police (IGP) to speed up the process of locating the daughter of his former client, M Indira Gandhi.
Speaking to FMT, Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said the Ipoh Barat MP was out of line as he was now a minister and no longer a legal practitioner.
As such, he said, Kulasegaran, as a public officer, could no longer represent the legal interests of Indira, for whom he had appeared to revoke the conversion certificates of her three children, Tevi Darshiny, Karan Dinesh and Prasana Diksa.
“As human resources minister, his authority is confined to his portfolio. The police come under the jurisdiction of the home minister.”
Haniff said Kulasegaran’s statement gave the impression that he was abusing his power for an interest that had nothing to do with his ministry.
“He has no right to make such a statement that he will meet the IGP to expedite locating Prasana to be reunited with the mother,” he said.
He also said it must be remembered that the Pakatan Harapan government had pledged to uphold the rule of law and respect the doctrine of separation of powers in carrying out its duties.
Kulasegaran made the remarks last Friday, saying it had been two years since Indira obtained a court order to compel the police to find Prasana, who is now nine years old.
“There are some difficulties but we will try to do our best to achieve it,” he said, referring to efforts to track down Indira’s ex-husband Muhammad Riduan Abdullah, who had disappeared with the girl.
When contacted, Kulasegaran said he had made the statement in his capacity as an MP, and that Indira was a voter in his constituency.
“I have to address the plight of my voters in Ipoh Barat even though I was appointed a minister,” he said.
Kulasegaran, who is also DAP national vice-chairman, said he had ceased to be a lawyer and that the Bar Council had been notified.
“Haniff should not misconstrue my role just because I am now a federal minister. I could meet IGP Mohamad Fuzi Harun in my capacity as an MP,” he added.
In 2016, the Federal Court ordered the IGP at the time to arrest Riduan for contempt of court after he failed to hand over Prasana to Indira.
Early this year, it ruled that a spouse who converted to Islam must have the consent of the non-Muslim spouse for the conversion of their underage children.
It also revoked the conversion certificates issued to Indira’s children by the Registrar of Muallaf in Ipoh.
Riduan had changed the children’s religion to Islam in April 2009 without the consent of Indira.
In 2010, the Ipoh High Court granted Indira full custody of the children.