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

Review of the Indira Gandhi decision? — Gurdial Singh Nijar

Source: The Sun Daily

BY GURDIAL SINGH NIJAR
(Deputy President, HAKAM)

HARDLY is the ink dry on the Federal Court’s Indira Gandhi decision, a group of NGOs have announced that they will file an application for the Federal Court to review its decision. The public seems intrigued. After all, it was a final decision of the highest court of the land. What is this power of review? When can it be exercised?

Does the power exist?

Yes, the Federal Court does have an inherent power to review its own decision. It has a wide discretion to do so. But it is an exceptional power which is sparingly exercised. Read more

Muslim coalition to challenge Federal Court decision on unilateral conversion

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 7 — A Muslim coalition will file a judicial review in a bid to overturn a landmark Federal Court decision that outlawed the unilateral conversion of children recently.

The Malaysian Insight reported that Movement to Defend Ummah reached the decision after a roundtable discussion involving Malaysia Shariah Lawyers Association president Musa Awang, former chief justice Ahmad Fairuz, Ummah chairman Ismail Mina Ahmad and Pahang mufti Abd Rahman Osman in Kuala Lumpur today.

The movement’s chief secretariat Aminuddin Yahaya said the Federal Court’s decision to nullify the conversion of the three children was not in line with the Constitution that states Islam is the main religion of the country.

Last week, the Federal Court ruled that the unilateral conversion of M. Indira Gandhi’s three children to Islam by her ex-husband was null and void. Read more

If this is Islam, I am embarrassed — Fa Abdul

BY FA ABDUL

Source: The Malaysian Insight

“MA, did you read about the Indira case?” my daughter asked, referring to the landmark ruling of the unilateral conversion of M. Indira Gandhi’s three children to Islam which the Federal Court declared null and void.

“Yup. Good news isn’t it?” I replied.

“Yes, it is good news but it is still sad.”

Curious, I asked her what about the case which made her sad, not at all suspecting what she had to say.

“Indira lost her husband upon his conversion to Islam in 2009 – the same time you were separated from Papa. And she was fighting for the custody of her children the same time you fought for our custody,” my daughter’s voice was soft but full of emotion.

Read more

Suaram hits out at cops for ‘selective efficiency’

Source: Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) has expressed concern over what it described as the “selective efficiency” of the police force.

Suaram adviser Kua Kia Soong said that the police seemed super-efficient when apprehending alleged “international terrorists” but their ignorance in the disappearance of ordinary Malaysians were mind-boggling.

“Yesterday, the statement by the Inspector-General of Police Mohamad Fuzi Harun that M Indira Gandhi’s former husband is still believed to be in the country, but the authorities have no idea where he is, is an astounding example of this selective efficiency of the Malaysian police,” he said in a statement.

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more

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.

Read more