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

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