Woman loses appeal to be declared non-Muslim

Source: FreeMalaysiaToday

PUTRAJAYA: A woman who claimed she was an illegitimate child born of a Muslim father and Buddhist mother, who has since passed away, lost her appeal to be declared a non-Muslim.

A Court of Appeal panel, comprising Umi Kalthum Abdul Majid, Vernon Ong Lam Kiat and Suraya Othman, today struck out Rosliza Ibrahim’s bid to quash the Shah Alam High Court’s decision on June 22, 2017 to dismiss her originating summons for a declaration that she was Buddhist and not a Muslim.

Umi, who chaired the panel, said there was no appealable error in the High Court judge’s decision.

Rosliza, 36, filed an originating summons in 2015 for a declaration that she was an illegitimate child born to a Buddhist mother, that she was not a Muslim and therefore the shariah courts had no jurisdiction over her.

She claimed she was raised a Buddhist by her mother and continues to profess Buddhism to this day. Read more

Federal Court: Islam requires convert to consult spouse before changing child’s faith

Source: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 31 — Islamic principles oblige Muslim converts to seek their non-Muslim spouses’ opinion before altering the religion of children born to a civil marriage, the Federal Court has indicated.

In the full judgement for its landmark ruling on Monday, the Federal Court highlighted two tenets in Islam — namely Al Syura, or consultation, and Al Adl, or justice — that are prescribed to Muslims.

“There was no consultation if the reverting parent has absolute right to change the original religion of the children without consulting the non-reverting parent,” Federal Court judge Tan Sri Zainun Ali said in a 100-page judgement sighted by Malay Mail.

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PM: Putrajaya may ban unilateral child conversions

Source: Malay Mail Online

Najib Razak giving a press conference during UMNO Supreme Council meeting at UMNO Headquarters, Menara Dato’ Onn, Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) on January 30 2018. Via Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 30 — The government will consider re-introducing a legal amendment to ban unilateral child conversion to Islam, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today after a landmark court ruling in M. Indira Gandhi’s case.

The prime minister was referring to Section 88A of the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act that the government had withdrawn before passing amendments to the law last August.

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Kes Indira: Mahkamah sivil boleh tafsir isu perundangan Islam

Sumber: Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, 30 Jan — Perlembagaan Persekutuan tidak menghalang mahkamah sivil daripada mentafsir atau menilai isu berkaitan undang-undang Islam.

Dalam penghakiman bertulis kes M Indira Gandhi, lima ahli panel mahkamah persekutuan berkata klausa 1A bawah Seksyen 121 Perlembagaan tidak mengurangkan kuasa mahkamah sivil berkaitan perkara dalam bidang kuasa mahkamah syariah.

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Answered: Who has the power in conversion cases — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Online

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

ONCE ever so rarely emerges a court decision that will have a reverberating effect far beyond its own facts and parties to the case.

I speak of yesterday’s decision of the Federal Court in the Indira Gandhi case.

Before the Federal Court were two important questions: (1) who has authority to decide on matters of conversion of religion – the syariah courts or the civil courts where an issue arises involving its constitutional or statutory interpretation?

(2) In such conversion cases can one parent (without the consent of the other) have the final say? Read more

Indira Gandhi’s case shows civil law trumps shariah law

Source: The Malaysian Insight

THE landmark decision in the M. Indira Gandhi case sets a precedent that civil law prevails over shariah law, lawyers and civil groups said today.

The Federal Court yesterday ruled that the unilateral conversion of Indira’s three children to Islam was null and void, requiring the consent of both parents and the constitutional word “parent” was a case of being lost in translation.

Lawyers for Liberty’s Eric Paulsen said the ruling prevents cases which takes into consideration both civil and shariah law to bypass the common law.

“The judgment is extremely significant, as it conclusively stated that unilateral conversion is no longer valid.

“Therefore, a newly converted spouse can no longer circumvent civil law and go through the shariah system in order to unfairly gain custody of the children,” he told The Malaysian Insight.

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‘Indira judgment welcomed, but authorities must follow through’

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: A human rights NGO today hailed a landmark ruling which set aside the unilateral conversion of three children to Islam, expressing hope however that the authorities would follow through.

Lawyers for Liberty executive director Eric Paulsen said the Federal Court’s ruling in M Indira Gandhi’s case was long overdue.

He said he was happy that the matter had been resolved “in the favour of justice”, adding that the ruling shows that Muslims and non-Muslims are equal under the law.

“But failure of authorities to follow through on the decision will impact the confidence in court judgments.

“It could lead to a collapse of the system which could see people taking matters into their own hands,” he told FMT.

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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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