Responding to a writ petition filed by a Japanese mother, the High Court (HC) has ordered the Bangladeshi father and paternal aunt to appear before the HC on 31 August with his two daughters.
Japanese citizen Nakano Erico filed the writ petition coming to Dhaka, seeking to take custody of her two daughters.
The HC directed the OCs (officers-in-charge) of Gulshan and Adabar police stations to ensure their presence in the court on that day. BesidesThe HC has also banned the father from going abroad for the next 30 days.
The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman issued the order on Thursday.
Lawyer Mohammad Shishir Monir moved on behalf of the petitioner at the hearing. Deputy Attorney General Bipul Bagmar represented the state.
Shishir Monir told reporters that Japanese doctor Nakano Erico, 48, and Bangladeshi-American Sharif Imran, 58, were married on 11 July, 2008 in accordance with Japanese law. They moved to Tokyo and had three daughters in their 12 years of conjugal life. The three daughters are Jasmine Malika, 11, Laila Lina, 10, and Sania Hena, 7.
The lawyer said all three daughters were students at the "American School in Japan" in Tokyo's Chofu City. On 18 January, 2021, Sharif Imran filed for divorce from Erico. Then, on 21 January, Imran appealed to the "American School in Japan" authorities to take his daughter Jasmine Malik away. But the school authorities rejected his plea since Erico did not agree to that. Then, one day, Imran picked up Jasmine Malika and Laila Lina from the bus stop while they were returning home by the school bus, and took them to a rented house.
The lawyer said that on 25 January, Imran through his lawyer applied to Erico to hand over the passports of those two daughters, but Erico rejected the request and filed a lawsuit with Tokyo Family Court on 28 January seeking an order to take the two daughters into her custody. The court in Japan then issued an order instructing Imran to let Erico meet with the daughters on 7, 11, and 14 February, but Imran violated the court order, allowing the mother to meet the daughters only once.
Then on 9 February, lawyer Monir continued, on the basis of 'false information', Imran obtained new passports for his daughters, and on 21 February, he came to Bangladesh via Dubai with Jasmine and Laila. Three months later, on 31 May, the Tokyo Family Court ordered the transfer of custody of Jasmine and Laila to their mother Erico, taking into account the statements made by the two daughters and the circumstances, overall.
"However, as the two daughters were in Bangladesh, Erico consulted with a Bangladeshi human rights activist and lawyer. On 18 July, Erico came to Bangladesh, but Imran at first refused to allow her to meet the daughters. Later, on 27 July, switching off Erico's mobile phone he let her meet the daughters, but he kept the mother blindfolded," said Shishir Monir.
Following these events, the Japanese mother filed a writ petition with the HC seeking custody of her two daughters. After hearing the petition, the HC has summoned the father, paternal aunt, and the two daughters in question.