PUTRAJAYA (Bernama) – The Court of Appeal here yesterday struck out a Muslim-convert husband’s appeal after ruling it could not hear his appeal as he did not purge his contempt for disobeying a court order to return his six-year-old daughter to his Hindu ex-wife.
A three-member panel chaired by Justice Datuk Balia Yusof Wahi said under the law, a person who was in contempt of court must first purge his contempt before he could be heard by the court.
He said the High Court in Ipoh had found Muhammad Ridhuan Abdullah, formerly known as K Pathmanathan, in contempt on May 30, this year and he was given ample time to set aside the contempt order but until today, he had not done so.
“The law is just not with him in respect of his appeal,” he said, adding that the court found merit in M Indira Gandhi’s application to have (Muhammad) Ridhuan’s appeal struck out.
“It is our view that public interest also demands respect for the law to be maintained and we found the appellant (Muhammad Ridhuan) has not demonstrated that,” said Balia who presided on the panel with Court of Appeal judge Datuk Mah Weng Kwai and High Court judge Dr Badariah Sahamid.
The panel struck out Muhammad Ridhuan’s appeal which he had filed in a bid to set aside the Ipoh High Court decision which had found him guilty of contempt of court, as well as against a recovery order compelling the police to locate him and return Prasana Diksa to the mother.
The court had unanimously allowed the application brought by Muhammad Ridhuan’s ex-wife Indira Gandhi to strike out his appeal.
Consequently, the same panel also ruled that the application by the attorney-general and inspector-general of police (IGP) to intervene in Muhammad Ridhuan’s appeal and application for extension of time to file in the records of appeal and memorandum of appeal had “fallen flat” and become academic.