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Custody battle for Japanese-born children

Mom not allowed travel to Japan with children

Published : 02 Jun 2022 09:26 PM

The Appellate Division of the Supreme Court has dismissed three separate petitions, including a court of contempt, filed by both Japanese citizen Nakano Eriko and Bangladesh-born US citizen Imran Sharif regarding their two children.

The contempt of court petition filed by Japanese citizen Nakano Eriko against her two children’s father and Bangladesh-born US citizen Imran Sharif. Nakano also sought permission in a different petition to the top court to travel to Japan with her two children ahead of school’s ongoing summer vacation. On the other hand, Imran Sharif also filed a contempt of court petition against Nakano.

The Appellate Division bench, headed by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique, rejected the petitions on Thursday (June 2).

Barrister Ajmalul Hossain QC and Advocate Mohammad Shishir Manir stood for the Japanese mother of the children in the court, while Advocate Akhtar Imam, Advocate Rashna Imam and Advocate Kamal Hossain also attended before the court in favour of Imran Sharif.

Earlier on May 16, Nakano Eriko filed the contempt of court petition against Imran Sharif. 

On that day, Advocate Shishir Manir told journalists that “There is an instruction from the Appellate Division that the two children will stay with their mother and the father could visit the children every day. Disobeying this instruction, Imran sometimes took the children outside by force, which is contempt of the court order.”

On February 13, the Appellate Division ordered that the children of Nakano and Imran be kept in the custody of their mother.

The court had said that the two children will remain with the mother until the case is settled in the Dhaka Family Court, and directed the family court to dispose of the case within three months.

Imran Sharif, an American citizen of Bangladeshi descent, married Nakano in 2008. The couple had three children.

Three days after Nakano filed for divorce in January 2021, Imran picked his two eldest daughters up on their way home from school and flew with them to Bangladesh. The children have been living here since.

Nakano came to Bangladesh from Japan in July last year to try and regain custody of her children. The legal battle has stretched on for months.

On November 21, the High Court decided that Bangladeshi citizen Imran Sharif would have custody of the two girls he had brought to Dhaka from Japan. He was, however, required to allow their mother to meet with them in private.

Nakano then challenged the decision at the Supreme Court. The apex court then granted her custody of the children.