Two Japanese girls – ages 11 and seven – will stay with their Bangladeshi father, the High Court ruled on Sunday upon a writ petition by their Japanese mother.
But mother Nakano Eriko will be able to visit Bangladesh every three months at her convenience and spend at least ten days exclusively with her two daughters, the judgement adds.
The High Court said Imran Sharif, a Bangladesh-born US citizen, will bear all the expenses of accommodation, food and travel, to and from Japan three times a year.
Nakano Eriko, a doctor by profession in Japan, will have to bear the expenses of staying beyond the stipulated 10 days and additional visits to Bangladesh.
The father has also been instructed to arrange video calls at least twice a month between the mother and her daughters.
The court asked Imran Sharif to pay Tk10 lakh to Nakano Eriko in the next seven days for her trip to Bangladesh, accommodation, and other expenses in the last few months.
According to the judgement, a social service officer will maintain regular updates on the children and submit a report on their condition every three months, to the Registrar of the Supreme Court. The reports will eventually be presented in court.
In its judgment, the court said that even if a verdict is given on this writ, it will be considered as an ongoing case. If a party encounters a problem at any time, they can appeal to the court.
The court also ruled that a full verdict would be issued upon the writ petition, citing a detailed order regarding the two children.
The court has rejected a writ petition by Imran Sharif seeking directives to produce in court their third child who is in Japan.
In their observations, Justice M Enayetur Rahim and Justice Md Mostafizur Rahman said the verdict is quite heartbreaking and added that the two children will be the biggest victims of the incident.
Nakano Eriko, 48, and Imran Sharif, 58, got married in 2008 in accordance with Japanese law and had three daughters in their 12 years of conjugal life.
According to Eriko's lawyer Shishir Monir, all three daughters were students at a school in Tokyo. On 18 January 2021, Imran Sharif filed for divorce from Nakano Eriko and then on 21 January, he appealed to the school authorities to take his elder daughter away.
But the school authorities rejected his plea since Nakano Eriko did not agree to that. Then, one day, Imran Sharif picked up his two daughters from the bus stop when they were returning home by the school bus, and took them to a rented home.
On 9 February, Imran Sharif came to Bangladesh via Dubai with his two daughters, according to his lawyer's statement on 21 February.
Following these events, the Japanese mother, on 19 August, filed a writ petition with the High Court seeking custody of her two daughters.