Pindaan enakmen Perlis bergantung keputusan mahkamah, kata peguam

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Sumber: FMT News

Enakmen Perlis tidak berpelembagaan jika Mahkamah Persekutuan membuat keputusan memihak kepada kes Indira yang sedang dipertimbangkan, kata Fahri Azzat.

Perlis legislative assembly approved the Islamic Religion Administration Enactment (Amendment) 2016 Bill by a 13-1 majority on 9 December 2016. Image taken from FMT News.

Perlis legislative assembly approved the Islamic Religion Administration Enactment (Amendment) 2016 Bill by a 13-1 majority on 9 December 2016. Image taken from FMT News.

PETALING JAYA: Pindaan Enakmen Pentadbiran Agama Islam 2016 oleh Dewan Undangan Negeri Perlis yang membenarkan penukaran unilateral kanak-kanak bawah umur bergantung kepada keputusan Mahkamah Persekutuan, kata peguam.

Fahri Azzat berkata, rakyat Malaysia terpaksa menunggu keputusan mencabar undang-undang dibawa guru tadika M Indira Gandhi, yang memohon membatalkan sijil penukaran agama 3 anaknya.

“Enakmen Perlis akan tidak akan mengikut Perlembagaan jika mahkamah tertinggi membuat keputusan memihak kepada Indira. Undang-undang negeri akan menjadi sah jika rayuannya ditolak,” katanya kepada FMT.

Beliau berkata, prinsip undang-undang yang ditubuhkan Mahkamah Persekutuan akan mengikat negeri.

Fahri berkata demikian sebagai respons kepada tindakan Dewan Undangan Negeri Perlis yang meluluskan pindaan itu dengan majoriti 13-1.

Hanya seorang Ahli Dewan Undangan Negeri (Adun) bukan Islam berkecuali kerana tidak bersetuju dengan pindaan pertukaran agama itu.

Fahri, yang berada dalam pasukan peguam Indira di Mahkamah Persekutuan, berkata kerajaan persekutuan membentangkan cadangan meminda Rang Undang-undang Membaharui Undang-Undang (Perkahwinan dan Perceraian) 2016 bulan lepas bagi menghalang penukaran agama oleh ibu bapa adalah perkara ke-2.

“Kami tidak tahu sama ada rang undang-undang itu akan diluluskan atau ditarik balik,” katanya.

Di Mahkamah Persekutuan pada 30 Nov, kerajaan persekutuan dan Perak mengambil kedudukan sama dalam kes Indira yang hanya persetujuan salah seorang ibu bapa diperlukan untuk membuat penukaran bagi kanak-kanak Islam bawah umur.

Peguam Kanan Persekutuan Arik Sanusi Yeop Johari berkata, kerajaan melaksanakan keputusan Mahkamah Persekutuan pada 2007 dalam kes Subashini Rajasingam v Saravanan Thangathoray yang salah seorang daripada ibu bapa boleh menukar agama anak.

Arik memberitahu mahkamah, penukaran anak Indira juga selaras dengan Perkara 12 (4) Perlembagaan Persekutuan, agama kanak-kanak di bawah umur 18 boleh diputuskan ibu bapa.

Bagaimanapun, peguam Indira berhujah terhadap keputusan 2007 itu sebagai “Obiter dictum” atau kenyataan sampingan.

Para peguam berhujah Jadual ke-11 Perlembagaan memperuntukkan dalam mentafsir undang-undang tertinggi di negara ini, “kata-kata dalam bentuk tunggal meliputi bilangan jamak, dan perkataan dalam bilangan jamak termasuklah bilangan tunggal”.

Pasukan peguam Indira berhujah yang pihak berkuasa agama Perak tidak mematuhi prosedur enakmen negeri dengan membenarkan bekas suami Indira, Muhammad Riduan Abdullah menukar agama anak-anak mereka. Sijil penukaran agama mereka batal dan tidak sah.

Indira membawa perkara itu ke Mahkamah Persekutuan selepas Mahkamah Rayuan memutuskan perkara itu hanya boleh diputuskan oleh Mahkamah Syariah.

Mahkamah Persekutuan menangguhkan penghakiman.

 

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English copy

Perlis amendment depends on Federal Court ruling, says lawyer

Source: FMT News

 The legal principles established by the Federal Court will be binding on states, says Fahri Azzat.

PETALING JAYA: The constitutionality of the Perlis Islamic Enactment to allow unilateral conversion of minors hinges on a Federal Court ruling, a lawyer said.

Fahri Azzat said the Malaysian public has to wait for the decision of the legal challenge brought by kindergarten teacher M Indira Gandhi, who is seeking to nullify the conversion certificates of her three childen.

“The Perlis enactment will be unconstitutional if the apex court rules in favour of Indira. The state law will be legal if her appeal is dismissed,” he told FMT.

He said the legal principles established by the Federal Court will be binding on the states.

The Federal Court has reserved judgment.

Fahri said this in response to the Perlis legislative assembly approving the amendment by a 13-1 majority. One non-Muslim assemblyman abstained as he was not agreeable to the amendment on conversion.

Fahri, who is in Indira’s legal team in the Federal Court, said the federal government’s proposal to table amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) (Amendment) Bill last month to stop conversion by a parent was secondary.

“We do not know whether the Bill will be passed in the present form or will be withdrawn,” he said.

At the Federal Court on Nov 30, the federal and Perak governments took the common position in Indira’s case that the consent of only one parent is required to make minor children Muslim.

Senior Federal Counsel Arik Sanusi Yeop Johari said the government adopted the 2007 Federal Court ruling in the case of Subashini Rajasingam v Saravanan Thangathoray that one of the parents can convert the children.

Arik told the court the conversion of Indira’s children is also in accordance with Article 12 (4) of the Federal Constitution that the religion of a minor below 18 could be decided by a parent.

However, Indira’s lawyers have argued the 2007 ruling was an obiter dictum, or passing remark.

The legal fraternity has argued that the 11th Schedule of the Constitution provides that in interpreting the supreme law of the land, “words in the singular include the plural, and words in the plural include the singular”.

Indira’s legal team have submitted that the Perak religious authorities did not comply with procedures in the state enactment in allowing Indira’s ex-husband Muhammad Riduan Abdullah to convert the chidren.

As such their conversion certificates are null and void.

Indira came to the Federal Court as the Court of Appeal ruled that her matter could only be decided by the shariah court.

The Federal Court has reserved judgment.