The High Court (HC) on Tuesday directed Nakano Erico (48), a Japanese citizen, and her husband Sharif Imran (58), a Bangladesh-born US citizen, to stay with their two daughters for the next 15 days at a rented house in Gulshan-1 of the capital.
The two girls— aged 10 and 11— were recently removed by the Criminal Investigation Department of the police from their Bangladeshi father's custody, following a petition filed with the HC by their mother.
The HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman passed the order.
According to the order, during the children's stay in the Gulshan-1 house, rented by their father, the deputy director of the Social Services Department will monitor their natural development, while Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) will ensure their safety.
The court said the decision was made considering the welfare of children after hearing all the pleadings.
Earlier on 23 August, the HC ordered Imran and the police to place the children in the custody of a victim support centre in Tejgaon of the capital till 31 August.
Father's house, instead of mother's
During Tuesday's hearing, Erico's lawyer Mohammad Shishir Monir told the court, "Their mother has rented a house in the capital's Baridhara area. We want them to stay with her there. Their father can come to visit and stay at that house."
Shishir said they want the children to get over the trauma that recent events have caused them.
However, Imran's lawyer Fawzia Karim objected to Shishir's request.
She told the court said, "We want the children to stay at their father's house. We have no problem if their mother comes and visit them."
After hearing the arguments, the court urged both parties to 'think positively'. Following the court's call, both parties asked for a break to discuss the matter among themselves.
The hearing resumed at 3 pm when the court passed the order after both parties presented their proposal.
From Japan to Bangladesh
Imran and Japanese doctor Erico —parents to three daughters— were married on 11 July 2008 under Japanese law.
According to Erico's lawyer, Imran filed for divorce on 18 January 2021 but failed to appear before the court on the scheduled date of the hearing.
Three days later, he picked up two of his daughters from their school bus stop in Tokyo and took them to a rented house without Erico's consent. On 21 February, he came to Bangladesh with the girls.
Erico followed him to Bangladesh in a few months and filed a writ petition with the HC on 18 July.
In her petition through lawyer Shishir Munir, she raised fears of Sharif fleeing the country with her daughters.
Following the petition, the court ordered concerned authorities to remove the girls from Imran's custody and place them in a victim support centre.