Nakano brings contempt of court charges against Imran for taking children out, disobeying SC order

Japanese citizen Nakano Eriko has brought contempt of court charges against Bangladeshi national Imran Sharif, the father of her two children who are currently in her custody, for disobeying a court order.

Nakano filed the petition with the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, led by Chief Justice Hasan Foez Siddique, on Monday, her lawyer Shishir Monir said.

The court will hear the petition on May 23, he added.

Barrister Ajmalul Hossain QC, accompanied by lawyer Monir, represented the state during the filing of the petition. 

“The children have been with their mother following an order issued by the Supreme Court. The court also allowed the father to meet his children. But he has disobeyed the court order and has forcibly taken them out several times,” Monir said.

On Feb 13, the Appellate Division ruled that the two children of Nakano and Imran will remain with their mother until a case filed by the father for the custody of the children is settled in the Family Court, settling an appeal by Nakano against a High Court decision awarding custody of the children to their father.

The court also allowed the father to meet the children by discussing the matter with the mother.

The Family Court usually decides on child custody. Nakano had filed an application for habeas corpus - a writ requiring a person under arrest to be brought before a judge or into court – to the High Court.

The Supreme Court said that the children could not be taken out of the jurisdiction of the court considering the circumstances of the case and the interests of the children. As a result of this order, the children cannot be taken out of Bangladesh.

The case filed by the father is pending in the Family Court.

The Supreme Court has also directed the Family Court to settle the case within three months of receiving the order.

Imran, 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 three 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 Nov 21, the High Court decided that Bangladeshi citizen Imran 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.