Other cases of unilateral child conversion

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 ― While M. Indira Gandhi won her case at the Federal Court against the conversion of her three children to Islam without her consent, a few other women were not so fortunate.

The apex court’s decision to nullify the unilateral conversion of Indira’s children ― which was done by her Muslim convert ex-husband who also abducted their youngest child nine years ago at the age of 11 months ― was the opposite of a previous verdict in another case of unilateral child conversion ― R. Subashini’s case.

The Federal Court yesterday ruled that according to the Federal Constitution, the consent of both parents is needed to convert a minor, while another apex court panel in Subashini’s case had interpreted the Constitution to only require the permission of one parent.

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We are Hindu, Indira’s children declare confidently after Muslim conversion quashed

Source: Malay Mail Online

(From left) Karan Dinish, Tevi Darsiny and their mother M. Indira Gandhi are seen here in a photo taken during Deepavali 2017. ― Picture courtesy of M. Indira Gandhi
via Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 ― M. Indira Gandhi’s two elder children can now proudly declare their Hindu identity, after the Federal Court yesterday nullified their conversion to Islam that was done without their Hindu mother’s consent.

Tevi Darsiny, the eldest child now aged 20, said she felt “overwhelmed” when
she heard about the Federal Court ruling voiding her conversion by her Muslim convert father, Muhammad Riduan Abdullah.

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Federal Court judgment on Indira Gandhi case

Source: The Malaysian Insight

Background facts

The appellant, Indira Gandhi Mutho and the respondent in appeal no. 19, Patmanathan Krishnan were married on April 10, 1993.

The marriage was registered under the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 (‘the LRA’). There were three children of the marriage, Tevi Darsiny, aged 12, Karan Dinish, aged 11 and the youngest, Prasana Diksa, who was 11 months old (at the time of filing of the appellant’s application for judicial review dated 9 June 2009).

On March 11, 2009, the 6th respondent converted to Islam. At the time of the 6th respondent’s conversion, the two elder children were residing with the appellant while the youngest child was with the 6th Respondent.

Sometime in April 2009, the appellant received documents from the 6th respondent showing that her three children had been converted to Islam on April 2, 2009 and that the Pengarah Jabatan Agama Islam Perak had issued three certificates of conversion to Islam on her three children.

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Ezra Zaid’s Shariah trial over book to start Feb 22

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 23 — The Shariah court today decided that Mohd Ezra Mohd Zaid’s trial over a book will proceed on February 22 despite a pending civil court case challenging his Shariah prosecution.

Zulkifli Che Yong, the lawyer for Ezra in the Shariah case, confirmed that there was a hearing today for his client’s application to stay the Shariah trial until the conclusion of a separate case at the civil courts.

“The court fixed for trial 22 February,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted today.

On March 7, 2013, Ezra was charged as ZI Publications’ director and majority shareholder under Section 16(1)(a) of the Syariah Criminal Offences (Selangor) Enactment 1995 with two alternative counts of publishing and distributing the Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta book, as well as a third alternative count under Section 16(1)(b) for possession of 180 copies of the book. Read more

Don’t equate constitution with shariah, says lawyer

Source: FMT News

Jasser Auda (left) and Ab Kadir Ismail.
Pic from FMT News

PETALING JAYA: An official of the Shariah Lawyers Association has disputed Islamic scholar Jasser Auda’s view that the Malaysian constitution is in line with the spirit of the shariah.

Ab Kadir Ismail, who heads the association’s Selangor chapter, said no man-made body of laws could claim to be in the spirit of the shariah if it did not explicitly recognise God’s omniscience and omnipotence.

“There is no provision in the constitution that says Allah is superior and that the main sources of law are the Quran and Sunnah,” he said.

Auda, the chairman of the London-based Maqasid Institute, told a recent forum that he disagreed with calls to amend the Malaysian constitution, saying it already placed importance on peace, stability, and justice as required by Islam. Read more

Move to set up committee to discuss laws to benefit children

Source: The New Straits Times

KUALA LUMPUR : A mediation committee comprising Muslims and non-Muslims should be set up to implement the provisions of the amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976.

International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies (IAIS) deputy chief executive officer Prof. Madya Dr. Mohamed Azam Mohamed Adil said this would enable parties to negotiate to reach a consensus to benefit children.

He also said the coordination of administrative aspects of the Syariah Court needed to be streamlined through the role of Malaysia Syariah Judiciary Department without affecting Islamic religion in other states.

“This mechanism should be implemented to ensure that efforts to upgrade the Syariah Court jurisdiction through Bill 355 can be realised,” he said. Read more

Jawi drops Shariah charges against Kassim Ahmad

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Kassim Ahmad (pic) has won in the civil courts in his legal challenge against Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, Jawi and the government of Malaysia over his arrest and prosecution in the Shariah courts. Pic by The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 7 ― Shariah prosecutors today finally withdrew two 2014 Shariah charges against Muslim intellectual Kassim Ahmad after the octogenarian’s long court battles, his lawyer confirmed.

Kassim’s lawyer Rosli Dahlan said the 83-year-old will no longer face the two Shariah charges that are both punishable with a maximum RM3,000 fine or maximum two-year jail, or both.

“The charges are all dropped, Kassim is totally free, all three of the bailors are released and bail money is to be returned,” he told Malay Mail Online when contacted after Kassim’s case was mentioned at the Putrajaya Shariah High Court. Read more

Cabinet nod to set up panel to empower shariah court

Source: FMT News 

Jamil Khir Baharom
Pic drawn from FMT News

KUALA LUMPUR: The government has agreed to establish a special committee to empower shariah court and shariah law as a whole, in line with the status of Islam as the official religion of the federation as enshrined in the Federal Constitution.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Jamil Khir Baharom said the establishment of the special committee was approved by the cabinet at its meeting yesterday.

He said the initiative also proved the government’s continuous commitment to empowering the shariah court in a holistic manner for                                                                                     the benefit of the Muslims.

“The committee will be a credible platform to improve the existing shariah court’s judicial system,” he said in a statement here today. Read more

Minister: FT Shariah Courts approved 238 underage marriage applications

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, July 31— The Federal Territories Shariah Courts approved 238 underage marriage application between 2010 to this year, the government said today.

In a written reply dated July 25, Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department in charge of Religious Affairs, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said that although underage marriages are disallowed in Islam, there are cases where permission has been obtained from the Shariah Court, for “permitted reasons and not a blanket approval”. Read more

Shariah caning in courtroom unlawful too,lawyer says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Datuk Kuthubul Zaman said the caning of Shariah offenders in a civil courtroom in Sabah last year contravened the Prisons Regulations 2000. Picture drawn from The Malay Mail Online.

KUALA LUMPUR, July 16 — The caning of Shariah offenders in a civil courtroom in Sabah last year contravened the Prisons Regulations 2000, a lawyer said amid a debate on the constitutionality of public whippings.

Datuk Kuthubul Zaman, who is the Bar Council’s Shariah law committee chair, highlighted Regulation 132 of the Prisons Regulations, which he said “clearly provides that whipping must be done in prison”.

Regulation 132 states that any punishment imposed on a prisoner “may be carried out in any prison, or partly in one prison and partly in another”.

“So even the civil courtroom is never used for whipping. My opinion is it is unlawful to conduct Shariah caning in civil courts,” Kuthubul told Malay Mail Online. Read more