Federal Court hearing for five stateless individual cases reconvenes

Source: The Malay Mail

MMO infographic on 5 statelessness cases

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — The Federal Court has deferred hearing five cases where five Malaysia-born persons want recognition as citizens, as the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) has asked for time to seek new instructions from the Home Ministry on how to proceed.

Senior federal counsel Suzana Atan, who represented the government and Ministry of Home Affairs, today told the court that the AGC was seeking an “adjournment for all matters pending fresh instructions from the Ministry of Home Affairs”.

The Federal Court’s five-man panel, which was chaired by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop, granted an adjournment of the hearing.

The other judges on the panel today are Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed, Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim and Tan Sri Aziah Ali.

The hearing has now been fixed for July 23 and July 24.

Today was initially fixed for hearing of the five cases after it was rescheduled from May 30 and May 31, and also after several adjournments previously.

Earlier before the fixing of new hearing dates, lawyers for the stateless individuals today told the court that they were ready to go on with the hearing.

Datuk Cyrus Das, one of the lawyers for two of the cases, said his clients wanted the case to go on.

“I think to say that to take instructions from the Ministry of Home Affairs is too broad, they need to be more specific.

“In respect of some of the families, it’s a matter of some urgency because the children concerned are of age, 17 or 18 which they need a passport to travel abroad when the occasion arises,” he said, adding that they would also be at the age when they would need driving licences.

“Some of them do not know they are adopted, so there’s an internal family situation — how do you explain (that) you cannot do all these things?…We have the families’ instruction to proceed,” said Cyrus, who is representing the parents of two stateless Malaysia-born boys aged 16 and 17 this year.

Lawyer Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who represented two stateless persons who are turning eight and 20 this year, left it up to the court to decide whether or not to proceed with hearing today.

He told judges that the lawyers will be making a representation to the Home Ministry for his clients’ citizenship.

Lawyer Ranee Sreedharan, whose 13-year-old client successfully won her citizenship bid in the Court of Appeal but was brought to the apex court when the government appealed, also indicated readiness for the hearing today.

“We are of the same position, if the court would like to hear the case, we are ready to proceed,” she told the court, adding that her clients would also accept if hearing was deferred.

The lawyers who held a watching brief today are Annou Xavier and Larissa Ann Louis for the Bar Council and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), Goh Siu Lin for the Association of Women Lawyers and Sharmila Sekaran for Voice of the Children.

Lawyers Francis Pereira and Sharmini Thiruchelvam also held a watching brief for their client, an eight-year-old boy whose parents were married after his birth, who was denied citizenship.

The Court of Appeal has already heard the appeal of the eight-year-old boy’s case against the High Court’s dismissal of his citizenship bid, but will only deliver its decision after the Federal Court decides on the five cases – including Ranee’s case which is similar to his.

A representative from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was also present in court.

Related Articles:

 

Carpenter awarded RM310,000 in damages for assault and unlawful detention

Source: The Malay Mail

PUTRAJAYA, June 7 — A carpenter was awarded a sum of RM310,000 in damages by the Federal Court today for unlawful detention and for assault while he was being remanded by police in 2008.

The five-man bench comprising Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum and Federal Court judges Tan Sri Hasan Lah, Datuk Seri Balia Yusof Wahi, Tan Sri Aziah Ali and Tan Sri Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha ruled in favour of Mohd Hady Ya’akop after dismissing the appeal by four police officers and the government.

Justice Balia, who delivered the court’s judgment, had increased the exemplary damages for unlawful detention from RM50,000 to RM100,000.

He also maintained the appellate court’s decision to award Mohd Hady RM50,000 for false imprisonment and RM160,000 in damages for assault.

In the landmark judgment, Balia said Mohd Hady was entitled to bring a collateral proceeding and file a civil action against the police to challenge his remand order.

Balia said the courts were entrusted to oversee that the detention of prisoners and detainees were proper and the High Court has the power to correct any error, adding that assault in police custody was a clear violation. Read more

New brooms sweep clean? Lawyers for stateless want to meet Pakatan Home Minister

Source: The Malay Mail

The Palace of Justice in Putrajaya – File pix

PUTRAJAYA, June 4 — Lawyers whose clients are those born in Malaysia but stateless are seeking a meeting with new Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in hopes of securing a happy ending outside the courtroom.

The Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition, which had won federal power in the May 9 general election, had promised in its manifesto to resolve the ethnic Indian community’s stateless problem within 100 days of forming government.

Lawyer Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram said an attempt will be made to meet with Home Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to resolve the stateless problems faced by his clients who were born in Malaysia.

“We intend to try and make a personal representation by making an appointment to see him, because we have been assured that this is a people-friendly government, that they are prepared to meet people, so we are going to test that,” he told reporters at the Palace of Justice here. Read more

Five stateless persons’ case postponed as AGC seeks Home Ministry’s instructions

Source: The Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — The Federal Court has deferred hearing five cases where five Malaysia-born persons want recognition as citizens, as the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) has asked for time to seek new instructions from the Home Ministry on how to proceed.

Senior federal counsel Suzana Atan, who represented the government and Ministry of Home Affairs, today told the court that the AGC was seeking an “adjournment for all matters pending fresh instructions from the Ministry of Home Affairs”.

The Federal Court’s five-man panel, which was chaired by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop, granted an adjournment of the hearing.

The other judges on the panel today are Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed, Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim and Tan Sri Aziah Ali.

The hearing has now been fixed for July 23 and July 24.

Today was initially fixed for hearing of the five cases after it was rescheduled from May 30 and May 31, and also after several adjournments previously. Read more

Postponed Federal Court hearing for five stateless individual cases

ED.  UPDATE: The Federal Court has rescheduled its hearing involving the cases of five stateless individuals who were born in Malaysia and want to be recognised as Malaysian citizens to 23 and 24 July 2018, at the request of the Attorney-General’s Chambers which is seeking instructions from the Ministry of Home Affairs. 

Source: The Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, June 4 — The Federal Court has deferred hearing five cases where five Malaysia-born persons want recognition as citizens, as the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) has asked for time to seek new instructions from the Home Ministry on how to proceed.

Senior federal counsel Suzana Atan, who represented the government and Ministry of Home Affairs, today told the court that the AGC was seeking an “adjournment for all matters pending fresh instructions from the Ministry of Home Affairs”.

The Federal Court’s five-man panel, which was chaired by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop, granted an adjournment of the hearing.

The other judges on the panel today are Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed, Tan Sri Zaharah Ibrahim and Tan Sri Aziah Ali.

The hearing has now been fixed for July 23 and July 24.

Today was initially fixed for hearing of the five cases after it was rescheduled from May 30 and May 31, and also after several adjournments previously.

MMO infographic on 5 statelessness cases

Earlier before the fixing of new hearing dates, lawyers for the stateless individuals today told the court that they were ready to go on with the hearing.

Datuk Cyrus Das, one of the lawyers for two of the cases, said his clients wanted the case to go on.

“I think to say that to take instructions from the Ministry of Home Affairs is too broad, they need to be more specific.

“In respect of some of the families, it’s a matter of some urgency because the children concerned are of age, 17 or 18 which they need a passport to travel abroad when the occasion arises,” he said, adding that they would also be at the age when they would need driving licences.

“Some of them do not know they are adopted, so there’s an internal family situation — how do you explain (that) you cannot do all these things?…We have the families’ instruction to proceed,” said Cyrus, who is representing the parents of two stateless Malaysia-born boys aged 16 and 17 this year.

Lawyer Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, who represented two stateless persons who are turning eight and 20 this year, left it up to the court to decide whether or not to proceed with hearing today.

He told judges that the lawyers will be making a representation to the Home Ministry for his clients’ citizenship.

Lawyer Ranee Sreedharan, whose 13-year-old client successfully won her citizenship bid in the Court of Appeal but was brought to the apex court when the government appealed, also indicated readiness for the hearing today.

“We are of the same position, if the court would like to hear the case, we are ready to proceed,” she told the court, adding that her clients would also accept if hearing was deferred.

The lawyers who held a watching brief today are Annou Xavier and Larissa Ann Louis for the Bar Council and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), Goh Siu Lin for the Association of Women Lawyers and Sharmila Sekaran for Voice of the Children.

Lawyers Francis Pereira and Sharmini Thiruchelvam also held a watching brief for their client, an eight-year-old boy whose parents were married after his birth, who was denied citizenship.

The Court of Appeal has already heard the appeal of the eight-year-old boy’s case against the High Court’s dismissal of his citizenship bid, but will only deliver its decision after the Federal Court decides on the five cases – including Ranee’s case which is similar to his.

A representative from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) was also present in court.

Related Articles:

 

Federal Court hearing for five stateless individual cases

 

ED. FURTHER UPDATE: The Federal Court had rescheduled its hearing involving the cases of five stateless individuals who were born in Malaysia and want to be recognised as Malaysian citizens to 23 and 24 July 2018, at the request of the Attorney-General’s Chambers which is seeking instructions from the Ministry of Home Affairs. 

ED. UPDATE: The Federal Court postponed its hearing involving the cases of five stateless individuals who were born in Malaysia and want to be recognised as Malaysian citizens to 4 June 2018. This hearing was fixed earlier for 30-31 May 2018.

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The Palace of Justice in Putrajaya – File pix

PUTRAJAYA, April 2 — The Federal Court today again rescheduled its hearing involving the cases of five stateless individuals who were born in Malaysia and want to be recognised as Malaysian citizens.

Hearing for the five cases had been previously postponed to today, but when their cases were called this morning, the Federal Court asked the lawyers to come up with a common set of questions of law for all five cases.

Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, who chaired the five-judge panel, asked the lawyers if it was possible for all five cases to be heard together due to the varying facts of some of the cases.

He noted that the individuals in the cases range from children adopted by Malaysians to children born to a foreigner mother, and also related to issues on a child’s legitimacy.

Datuk Cyrus Das, one of lawyers for two of the citizenship cases, told the court that the five cases could be decided on and dealt with in a single written judgment as the legal questions raised would apply to all five.

Zulkefli then said there would be “one hearing for all five cases”, and that all five cases will be dealt with in a “single judgment”.

The other judges on the panel today are Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum, Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed, Tan Sri Hasan Lah and Tan Sri Aziah Ali.

The new hearing dates have been fixed on May 30 and May 31.

Cyrus and lawyer Raymond Mah are the lawyers for two separate cases involving two boys: 17-year-old boy P* and 16-year-old C*, both with unknown birth parents and who were separately adopted by two Malaysian couples.

Seven legal questions were previously posed to the Federal Court in these two cases, while a question of law on citizenship requirement was previously raised for the next two cases.

Lawyer Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram is the lead counsel for two cases involving a 20-year-old whose birth parents are unknown and was adopted by Malaysian parents, and an eight-year-old boy who was born to a Malaysian father and now-untraceable Thai mother that were not legally married when he was born.

For the fifth case involving a child born to a Malaysian father and Papua New Guinean mother who later became a married couple after her birth, lawyer Ranee Sreedharan is representing the 13-year-old girl, M*, in the bid to secure her citizenship status at the country’s highest court.

M had last year won her citizenship bid in the Court of Appeal, but the government had appealed the court’s decision for her to be registered as a citizen.

Three questions of law were previously posed in M’s case for the Federal Court to hear and decide on.

Lawyers who held a watching brief today include Annou Xavier and Larissa Ann Louis for the Bar Council and the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam), Goh Siu Lin for the Association of Women Lawyers and Sharmila Sekaran for Voice of the Children.

Representatives from organisations such as the Development of Human Resources for Rural Areas (DHRRA) Malaysia and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) were also present in court.

*The actual names were not used due to privacy reasons.

MMO infographic on 5 statelessness cases

 

Apex court defers hearing for five Malaysia-born stateless persons… again

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The Palace of Justice in Putrajaya – File pix

PUTRAJAYA, April 2 — The Federal Court today again rescheduled its hearing involving the cases of five stateless individuals who were born in Malaysia and want to be recognised as Malaysian citizens.

Hearing for the five cases had been previously postponed to today, but when their cases were called this morning, the Federal Court asked the lawyers to come up with a common set of questions of law for all five cases.

Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin, who chaired the five-judge panel, asked the lawyers if it was possible for all five cases to be heard together due to the varying facts of some of the cases.

He noted that the individuals in the cases range from children adopted by Malaysians to children born to a foreigner mother, and also related to issues on a child’s legitimacy. Read more

Judiciary’s independence affected if Chief Justice’s appointment upheld, court told

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Ambiga said it was not a ‘happy task’ for those involved in the lawsuit and for the Federal Court panel hearing it, but said upholding the Federal Constitution is a burden that the judges have to shoulder. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

PUTRAJAYA, March 14 — The judiciary’s independence will be affected if the Federal Court decides that the appointment of the country’s two top judges beyond their mandatory retirement age is valid and constitutional, the Malaysian Bar’s lawyer said today.

Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan, a lawyer for the Malaysian Bar in the legal body’s lawsuit challenging the top two judges’ appointments, told the Federal Court to consider the impact if the apex court were to uphold last year’s appointment of the Chief Justice and the Court of Appeal president.

She summed up the “far-reaching” consequences expected, including the mandatory retirement age in the Federal Constitution becoming “meaningless” and the promotion of judges being affected.

“And it affects the independence of the judiciary because it affects security of tenure,” she told the Federal Court.

Ambiga was referring to the Malaysian Bar’s argument that the appointment of Tun Md Raus Sharif and Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin as “additional judges” of the Federal Court for three years and two years respectively would affect judicial independence, as such appointments are for varying and unfixed periods. Read more

Apex court puts off hearing five Malaysia-born stateless persons’ citizenship cases

Source: The Malay Mail

The Palace of Justice in Putrajaya – File pix

PUTRAJAYA, March 6 — The Federal Court today adjourned its hearing of five cases involving stateless individuals who were born in Malaysia and are seeking Malaysian citizenship.

Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram, the lead counsel for two of the cases, told the judges he was unwell and requested for adjournment.

The Federal Court allowed his request, while also deciding to reschedule the hearing of the three other cases as the issues raised would be the same.

The five cases will now be heard on April 2.

The five-man Federal Court panel is chaired by Chief Justice Tun Md Raus Sharif and includes Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop, Tan Sri Hasan Lah, Tan Sri Zainun Ali, Tan Sri Aziah Ali.

The two cases where Sri Ram is the lead counsel involve a 20-year-old whose birth parents are unknown and was adopted by Malaysian parents, and an eight-year-old boy who was born to a Malaysian father and Thai mother that were not legally married when he was born.

The Court of Appeal last year rejected their citizenship bids by saying they should have also shown proof that they are not citizens of other countries, and the duo now want the Federal Court to decide if the legal principle of “jus sanguinis” — where citizenship depends on the parents’ citizenship — should be used to determine if a Malaysia-born person can be a citizen. Read more

Despite top court ruling, lawyer insists Indira Gandhi’s kids still Muslim

Source: The Malay Mail Online

(From left) lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla, UTM Law Lecturer Muhammad Fathi Yusof, lawyer Aston Paiva and lawyer Lukman Sheriff Alias at a public talk in Kuala Lumpur March 2, 2018. — Picture by Zuraneeza Zulkifli

KUALA LUMPUR, March 3 — The three children of Hindu mother M. Indira Gandhi are Muslim, according to lawyer Haniff Khatri Abdulla despite a landmark Federal Court ruling that nullified their unilateral conversion by their father.

Haniff Khatri told a forum discussing the Indira Gandhi case here last night that Tan Sri Zainun Ali — one of the five judges who made the unanimous ruling in January to nullify the muallaf or Muslim-convert certificates — did not declare the children non-Muslim when reading out the 99-page judgment.

As such, the ruling only affected the validity of their muallaf or Muslim conversion certificates, which the lawyer said was merely administrative.

“If you read the judgement, the honourable Datuk [sic] Zainun, she stated that the challenge made [by Indira] was not regarding the children’s religious status. The challenge was in relation to whether the conversion certificates issued by the authority is valid or not, in accordance with the enactment. Read more