After mum urges authorities to locate missing daughter, father claims he took child abroad for their safety

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 7 — A father who left the country with his three-year-old child amid a custody battle has insisted that he did not violate any court ruling despite his ex-wife’s bid to have Malaysian authorities enforce a legal order to locate the duo.

In an immediate response and clarification to Malay Mail through his legal counsel, R Kannan claimed he sought refuge abroad with his child after taking into consideration the present circumstances that he believes are detrimental to the child’s best interests.

This is despite his acknowledgement of a mandatory injunction issued by the High Court in Shah Alam last year requiring him to return the child to her biological mother.

The mother, V Thevitthra, previously told Malay Mail she was imploring Malaysian authorities to find her daughter who went missing, claiming the latter was taken away by the child’s father months ago following the court-issued mandatory injunction.

Representing Kannan, lawyer Sreedhara Naidu of Messrs Naidu Chambers, alleged that Thevitthra had taken certain measures to enforce the court order, thereby compelling his client to prioritise the child’s safety and well-being above other considerations.

“Due to ongoing security concerns and the absence of assurances from local authorities regarding their safety, Mr R Kannan has sought refuge abroad with his child.

“Mr R Kannan is of the opinion that returning to Malaysia or relinquishing custody of the child under the current conditions would not serve the child’s best interests,” the lawyer said in a statement.

The lawyer also shared a number of allegations made by R Kannan which are now subject to police investigation.

Despite the circumstances, the lawyer also claimed that the child’s mother has not tried to establish contact with both father or the child even though, according to him, they remain reachable at present.

Previously court documents sighted by Malay Mail showed that Thevitthra succeeded in obtaining a mandatory injunction compelling Kannan to return the child to her from the High Court in Shah Alam on November 21, 2023.

In the mandatory injunction, High Court judge Datuk Julie Lack ordered Kannan to immediately return the child to Thevitthra while also prohibiting any persons related to Kannan interacting with the child without prior permission from Thevitthra.

A further check on the court e-Filing system showed that a date — March 19 — has been fixed for online case management over the filing of appeal against the mandatory injunction order before the deputy court registrar at the Court of Appeal.

Kannan is listed as the appellant with Thevitthra as the respondent.

At the time being, the lawyer said Kannan remains informed of his legal obligations and adherence to court orders.

“Mr R Kannan appeals to the media and public to allow the court to adjudicate on this matter with the child’s welfare as the paramount consideration.

“We hope this statement clarifies the situation and rectifies any misconceptions arising from recent reports.

“Mr R Kannan’s primary concern remains the safety and well-being of his child, and he is committed to resolving this matter through the appropriate legal channels,” the lawyer added.