GEORGE TOWN: DAP’s M Kulasegaran says he can no longer look into the custody case of kindergarten teacher M Indira Gandhi due to his position as a federal minister.
He said he had tried to do “many things” behind the scenes but was advised to stay out of the matter as he was no longer Indira’s lawyer.
“When I took the case 10 years ago, nobody wanted to take it up.
“It was a religious and sensitive case. I spent many days at the Court of Appeal and Federal Court, and thousands of ringgit were spent by my former law firm,” he said in an interview after the RBA Foundation Regional Forum on Forced Labour at a hotel here today.
Adding that he had fulfilled his public duty, he said he must now “mind his business” as human resources minister.
“If I were back in practice, I would have done many more things. But the country has 18,000 other lawyers.
“I have informed other counsels to look into the matter and help her (Indira) out,” he added.
He also said the Federal Court had decided that the High Court in Ipoh would work with the police to locate Indira’s ex-husband and their youngest daughter.
Kula, who is also Ipoh Barat MP, had represented Indira whose Muslim-convert ex-husband snatched their youngest daughter, Prasana Diksa, in April 2009 after unilaterally converting their three children without her consent.
Indira’s former husband, K Pathmanathan, converted to Islam on March 11, 2009, taking the name of Muhammad Riduan Abdullah. He left the house three weeks later and went to the Shariah Court to obtain custody over his children.
On Jan 29 last year, the Federal Court set aside the unilateral conversion of Indira’s three children to Islam after ruling that any conversion of non-Muslim children must get the consent of both parents.
The judgment by the Federal Court has been described as a landmark ruling, with the court also stating that only the civil court will decide on matters of conversion involving minors.