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Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Deepa case: Civil courts decide custody of converted children

PUTRAJAYA - The Federal Court ruled on Wednesday that civil courts have the right to decide on custody of children converted to Islam.

It also ruled that civil courts were the proper forum to decide on the dissolution of marriages where one spouse had converted to Islam.

The apex court also ruled that Izwan Abdullah be given custody of his eight-year-old son while S. Deepa was granted custody of their 10-year-old daughter.

In a unanimous decision, Court of Appeal president Justice Md Raus Sharif said the children - Nur Nabila and Nabil - appeared settled where they were currently.

"Today we interviewed both children. The boy stated that he wanted to be with the father and the girl with the mother," he said.

Justice Md Raus said Nabil was schooling in Kuala Pilah, Negri Sembilan, while Nur Nabila was schooling in an international school in Johor Baru, Johor.

He also said that the Syariah Court only has jurisdiction to decide on the dissolution of marriage and custody of children when the marriage was conducted according to syariah law.

Izwan converted to Islam in 2011 after divorcing Deepa, before converting their two children to Islam in 2013, allegedly without Deepa's approval.

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