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Two kids now to stay with Japanese mother: SC

Published : 13 Feb 2022 09:44 PM | Updated : 14 Feb 2022 03:35 PM

The Supreme Court has scrapped a verdict of the High Court and directed that the two children brought from Japan to Bangladesh in 2021 by their Bangladesh-born father, now will stay with their Japanese mother.

A five-member full bench of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, headed by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique, issued the order on Sunday (February 13) following an appeal filed by the Japanese mother against the HC verdict on the issue.

Supreme Court lawyers Advocate Ajmalul Hossain QC, Advocate Ahsanul Karim and Advocate Mohammad Sishir Manir appeared for Japanese citizen Nakano Eriko; while Advocate Fida M Kamal, Fawzia Karim Firoz and Anir R Haque stood for Bangladesh-born US citizen Imran Sharif. 

The apex court has ordered the disposal of the case within three months over the custody of the two children -- Nakano Jasmine Malika, 12, and Nakano Laila Lina, 10, 

 at the family court concerned in Dhaka. During this period, the two daughters will stay with their Japanese mother Nakano Erico in Bangladesh, said the apex court. 

Imran Sharif filed a case with the family court on February 28 last year seeking custody of the minors.

The apex court also declared the detention of the children by Imran Sharif illegal. Imran, however, can visit the children at convenient times, but he can’t go outside the country, the Appellate Division said in the order.

Eriko is now staying at a hotel in Baridhara area in Dhaka with her daughters Jasmine and Laila, said her lawyer Mohammad Shishir Manir.

Read More: 2 kids to stay with Japanese mother till Jan 23: SC

On November 21 in 2021, the HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman in the verdict said that the Japanese-born daughters of Imran and Erico would stay with their father.

However, the mother can exclusively meet the daughters three times a year for 10 days at a time, and the father will bear her travel and accommodation expenses. If Erico wants to meet her children beyond the court-prescribed time she has to do it at her own expense, said the HC bench.

Imran was also instructed to allow the children to talk to their mother on video calls twice a month on holidays.

Following a writ petition, the High Court also ordered Imran to give Tk 10 lakh to Erico for the expenses she incurred to travel to Dhaka and stay here for seven days.

On December 5 in 2021, Erico filed a petition with the Appellate Division challenging the High Court’s verdict .

On January 23, the Appellate Division ordered that the two children would stay with their mother till February 6.

After 12 years of marriage, on January 18, Erico in 2021, a physician, appealed for divorce from Engineer Imran Sharif over the marital dispute. On January 28, she also filed a case with a Tokyo family court for custody of their three children.

On February 21, Imran returned to Bangladesh with the first two girls from Japan. After that, a Japanese court passed a verdict giving the children under their mother’s custody.

On August 19, Erico filed a writ petition before the High Court here seeking custody of the two girls.

Three days after Nakano filed for divorce in January last year, Imran picked up his two eldest daughters on their way home from school and flew with them to Bangladesh. The three have been living here ever since.

Nakano came to Bangladesh from Japan in July last year to join the legal fight for regaining custody of her children. 

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