Published: Monday March 18, 2013 MYT 12:51:00 PM
Updated: Monday March 18, 2013 MYT 3:25:40 PM
Welfare Dept given one month to prepare report on baby-for-sale infants
By DERRICK VINESH
BUKIT MERTAJAM: The state Welfare Department has one month to prepare reports before the court decides on the application for five rescued infants in a baby trafficking ring to be released to the custody of their parents.
Magistrate Arif Mohamed Shariff set April 23 to hear the application under Section 53 (5) of the Anti-Trafficking In Persons Act 2007, which allows the children to be with their guardian/parent on condition they provide a security of RM5,000 for each child.
Earlier, lawyer Nizam Bashir Abdul Kariem Bashir sought for a shorter time frame for the department to prepare the reports, which would contain details of the department's status of investigations into the case as well as background on the five parents.
The reports are necessary for the court to decide whether to release the children to the parents.
Nizam Bashir said the infants, aged between three months and three-and-a-half years, had been "separated" from their parents for over two months since Jan 16, when the department was first granted an interim protection order to take care of them.
Subsequently, the court gave the department a full protection order from Jan 29 to April 29.
Nizam Bashir said keeping the children away from the parents for a long time would not be to their best interest.
Magistrate Arif said he believed a month's time was reasonable for the department to prepare the reports. He said if he granted a shorter time, the department might later seek for an adjournment to ask for more time to prepare the reports.
Nizam Bashir told reporters later that the five infants were now placed at a welfare home in Johor Baru, while their parents were staying in Penang and in Taiping, Perak.
The Welfare Department was represented by welfare officer Marzuana Ismazira.
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