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Court to hear father’s appeal on custody of Japan-born daughters

A Dhaka court on Thursday agreed to hear an appeal filed by Bangladesh-born US citizen Engineer Imran Sharif challenging a family court verdict that allowed his estranged Japanese wife Nakano Eriko to keep their two daughters in her custody.

Dhaka District and Sessions Judge AHM Habibur Rahman Bhuiyan accepted the appeal for hearing in this connection.

Apart from this, the court will hold a hearing for mutual understanding between the girls’ parents on the issue. The daughters along with their parents were present at the court during Thursday’s hearing.

Earlier on February 1, an appeal petition was filed by the father at Dhaka District and Sessions Judge Court.

Later, the court fixed February 16 for hearing the appeal.

However, the family court earlier rejected an appeal filed by the father for custody and guardianship of the children.

On January 29 this year, Dhaka’s Second Additional Assistant Judge and Family Court passed an order allowing the mother to keep the two children in her care.

The court also allowed the mother to take the children Nakano Jasmine Malika and Laila Lina to Japan whenever she wants.

After 12 years of marriage, on January 18, 2020, Eriko, a physician, appealed for divorce from Engineer Imran Sharif over marital dispute.

On January 28, 2021 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. Meanwhile a Japanese court passed a verdict putting the children under their mother’s custody.

On August 19, 2021 — days after coming to Bangladesh – Eriko filed a writ petition before the High Court here seeking custody of the two girls.

On November 21, 2021, an HC bench of Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman ruled that the Japan-born daughters of Imran and Eriko would stay with their father.

However, the mother could exclusively meet the daughters, aged 11 and 10, three times a year for 10 days at a time and Imran, the father, will bear her travel and accommodation expenses, said the court.

On February 13 last year, the Appellate Division ordered that the custody of the two girls will be decided by the family court and until then the two children will remain with their mother.

Eriko tried to leave Dhaka with her two daughters on December 23 last year but the aviation authority sent them back as per the court order.

On December 29, father Imran Sharif filed a case at Dhaka Metropolitan Magistrate court in connection with the incident.

Later, the court asked the Police Bureau of Investigation to investigate the incident and submit its report.