Apex court throws out Jawi’s bid to appeal against Kassim Ahmad’s court victory

Source: The Malay Mail Online

In March 2015, Muslim intellectual Kassim Ahmad (pic) was charged at the Syariah High Court in Putrajaya with insulting Islam and defying religious authorities at a seminar in February.― Picture by Saw Siow Feng for the Malay Mail Online.

In March 2015, Muslim intellectual Kassim Ahmad (pic) was charged at the Syariah High Court in Putrajaya with insulting Islam and defying religious authorities at a seminar in February.― Picture by Saw Siow Feng for the Malay Mail Online.

KUALA LUMPUR, March 7 — The Federal Court dismissed today a leave application by Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) and two others to reverse a Court of Appeal’s ruling favouring Muslim academic Kassim Ahmad.

The apex court panel lead by Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum unanimously decided today to refuse granting permission to hear the merits of the appeal, after the previous appellate court declaration that Kassim’s arrest by Jawi was unlawful.

Malaysiakini reported that the panel, which also included Federal Court judges Tan Sri Zainun Ali and Datuk Balia Yusof Wahi, dismissed the appellants’ arguments regarding the jurisdiction of Civil Court in Shariah cases, and procedures of arrest and investigation.

The panel reportedly said the questions had been answered twice — when the Court of Appeal granted leave in Kassim’s appeal against High Court dismissing his leave application, and again when the same court heard his appeal and ruled in favour of him. Read more

PM: Civil court will have precedence in interfaith divorces

Source: The Malay Mail Online

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 25 — The civil courts will have precedence in mediating divorce and child custody cases involving spouses who convert to Islam after marriage, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak announced today.

He said the government will table a Bill to amend the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act 1976 in Parliament in October.

“I believe this is a just move that is in line with what Islam demands of us,” Najib said in his speech at the government’ Women’s Day Celebration here.

MORE TO COME Read more

Interfaith custody tribunal not constitutional, says Bar

Source: The Malaysian Insider

M. Indira Gandhi (left) and S. Deepa are the focus of custody battles involving their former husbands who are Muslim converts. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 23, 2016.

M. Indira Gandhi (left) and S. Deepa are the focus of custody battles involving their former husbands who are Muslim converts. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 23, 2016.

The Malaysian Bar has shot down a proposal to set up a tribunal comprising shariah and civil court judges to resolve interfaith disputes, saying it is unacceptable and counter-productive.

Its president, Steven Thiru, said it had no constitutional basis.

“It will further have the effect of elevating the shariah courts to the level of the civil courts, which is contrary to our constitutional scheme,” he said in a statement. Read more

Federal Court erred in giving custody to Muslim convert, says Bar chief

Source: The Malaysian Insider

Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 23, 2016.

Malaysian Bar president Steven Thiru – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 23, 2016.

The Malaysian Bar has expressed its disappointment with the Federal Court’s decision to grant Muslim convert custody of his son despite being in contempt of a High Court order.

Its president, Steven Thiru, said Izwan Abdullah (or N.Viran) defied the High Court custody order as well as a specific order prohibiting him from removing the children from ex-wife, S. Deepa.

He said Deepa was compelled to obtain a recovery order to direct the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and his officers to regain custody of her son, Mithran (Nabil) from Izwan.

“They did not comply with the recovery order, on the basis that there were conflicting custody orders by the Shariah Court and High Court,” he said in a statement. Read more

Shariah court custody order valid in Deepa-Izwan case, says Federal Court

Source: The Malaysian Insider

The Federal Court says in the case of S. Deepa v. Izwan Abdullah, the Shariah court custody order is valid until it is set aside. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 15, 2016.

The Federal Court said a custody order issued by the Seremban Shariah court to Muslim convert Izwan Abdullah is valid even though religious courts have no jurisdiction to dissolve civil marriages.

Judge Tan Sri Raus Sharif said a custody order by the Shariah court was lawful under section 52 (2) of the Child Act.

“We are of the view that, in light of the existence of the two conflicting custodial orders, the High Court judge should not have entertained the application of the ex-wife (S. Deepa) for the recovery of Mithran from her ex-husband,” Raus said in the judgment released today. Read more

Hanya Mahkamah Tinggi boleh beri remedi kepada pasangan selepas tukar agama

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

A picture of the Kuala Lumpur High Court in this picture dated February 5, 2015. The Federal Court ruled in the S. Deepa v. Izwan Abdullah interfaith custody case that only the High Court can give remedy to spouse even if the partner converted. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 15, 2016.

A picture of the Kuala Lumpur High Court in this picture dated February 5, 2015. The Federal Court ruled in the S. Deepa v. Izwan Abdullah interfaith custody case that only the High Court can give remedy to spouse even if the partner converted. – The Malaysian Insider file pic, February 15, 2016.

Pindaan 1988 kepada Mahkamah Persekutuan untuk menghentikan mahkamah sivil daripada campur tangan dalam hal ehwal Mahkamah Syariah tidak termasuk Mahkamah Tinggi daripada memberikan remedi kepada individu jika pasangannya menukar agama kepada Islam, kata Mahkamah Persekutuan menerusi penghakimannya minggu lalu dalam perbalahan hak penjagaan anak berbeza agama.

Hakim Tan Sri Raus Sharif berkata, dalam kes itu, bekas suami (Izwan Abdullah) dan bekas isteri (S Deepa) beragama Hindu ketika berkahwin.

“Dengan mengenakan perkahwinan sivil di bawah Akta Memperharui Undang-undang (LRA) 1976, mereka terikat dengan peruntukan berkaitan perceraian dan hak jagaan anak daripada perkahwinan itu. Read more

Muslim lawyers: Where is the justice for Muslim converts in Deepa ruling?

Source: The Malay Mail Online

S. Deepa speaks to members of the media at the Federal Court in Putrajaya. — Picture by Yusoff Mat Isa

S. Deepa speaks to members of the media at the Federal Court in Putrajaya. — Picture by Yusoff Mat Isa

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 12 ― The Federal Court ruling this week in an interfaith child custody battle has failed to consider the access to justice for Muslim converts, Muslim Lawyers Association of Malaysia president Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar asserted today.

Zainul Rijal claimed that mainstream Muslims in Malaysia are dissatisfied with the Federal Court’s ruling in the case of Hindu mother S. Deepa and her Muslim convert ex-husband Izwan Abdullah, in which the apex court declared the civil courts as having sole jurisdiction to determine divorce and child custody rights in civil marriages.

“Often times it is said that the rights of those who did not convert to Islam have been denied, that non-Muslims have been oppressed.

“But almost no one have presented the fact that the rights ― of those who converted to Islam or Muslim converts ― in civil law to dissolve their marriages are not recognised at all. Where is the justice for these Muslim converts?” he wrote in his opinion piece in Malay-language daily Sinar Harian today. Read more

Court gave ‘disobedient’ Muslim convert custody, says lawyers’ group

Source: The Malaysian Insider

The Federal Court has rewarded a Muslim convert with custody of his son even though he was in contempt of a Seremban High Court order, says a lawyers’ group.

Lawyers for Liberty legal and campaign coordinator Melissa Sasidaran said Izwan Abdullah snatched his son Mithran (Nabil) from his ex-wife two days after the court granted custody to S. Deepa in 2014.

“The Federal Court seems to be rewarding a wrongdoer who had blatantly disregarded the High Court order, thus giving the impression that a wrongdoer can abuse the legal process and benefit from it,” she said in a statement today. Read more

Ibu Hindu harap kes rebut anak jadi yang terakhir di Malaysia

Sumber: The Malaysian Insider

S Deepa bercakap kepada media selepas selesai perbicaraan di Mahkamah Persekutuan, Putrajaya, hari ini. Dia akur keputusan mahkamah walaupun tidak berpuas hati kerana hanya berjaya memperoleh hak penjagaan seorang anak sahaja. – Gambar The Malaysian Insider oleh Kamal Ariffin, 10 Februari, 2016.

S Deepa, ibu Hindu yang merebut penjagaan anaknya selepas bekas suami menukar agama 2 anak kecil mereka kepada Islam mengharapkan kes sepertinya tidak berulang lagi di Malaysia.

Mengakui tidak berpuas hati dengan keputusan Mahkamah Persekutuan kerana hanya memperoleh hak penjagaan anak perempuan manakala anak lelaki diserahkan kepada bekas suaminya, Izwan Abdullah, Deepa berkata beliau terpaksa akur dengan arahan tersebut.

“Saya harap Malaysia tukar sikap, jangan ada ibu tunggal seperti saya yang tidak ada jawapan, biar kes ini yang terakhir.

“Malaysia tolong berubah. Saya hadapi kesukaran, duit, masalah kerja, semua saya lalui tetapi jawapan sekarang, hanya anak perempuan ada pada saya, anak lelaki dipisahkan daripada saya. Memang tidak adil,” katanya kepada pemberita di Mahkamah Persekutuan di Putrajaya hari ini. Read more

Court gives girl to Hindu mother, son to Muslim dad

Source: FMT News

The Syariah Court has no jurisdiction to declare annulment of a civil marriage and to give a custody order.

Izwan Abdullah, formerly known as N Viran in a custody battle with ex-wife S. Deepa

Izwan Abdullah, formerly known as N Viran in a custody battle with ex-wife S. Deepa

PUTRAJAYA: A Federal Court panel has made a variation to the High Court custody order on the two children who were awarded to their Hindu mother S Deepa.

“We have met them, interviewed them. Nabil (son) clearly stated he wants to be with his father while Sharmila (daughter) wants to be with her mother,” said Court of Appeal president Justice Raus Sharif.

“We have set aside the High Court custody order. Nabil follows his father while Sharmila follows her mother.” Read more