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MAIS & S’gor Govt Win Appeal To Reinstate Woman’s Islamic Religious Status


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Source: Harian Metro & The Times of India

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The Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS) and the Selangor government succeeded in an appeal to restore the Islamic religious status of a 37-year-old woman today (January 13).

In a 2-1 majority decision, the Court of Appeal panel led by Judge Datuk Yaacob Md Sam allowed the appeal of MAIS and the state government to set aside the High Court’s decision that annulled the woman’s conversion.

According to a report by Harian Metro, the majority decision came after YA Yaacob and Datuk Nazlan Mohd Ghazali who favoured MAIS and the Selangor state government, while Datuk P Ravinthran gave the opposing judgment.

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YA Mohd Nazlan said that the Syariah High Court and the Syariah Court of Appeal had ruled that the woman was still a Muslim and therefore it was a case under the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court.

Additionally, a civil court does not have the power of judicial review over the Syariah Court, let alone in changing or amending, rehearsing or rejecting the decisions of the Syariah Court because it is tantamount to violating Article 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution.

Article 121(1A) of the Federal Constitution states that the civil court does not have jurisdiction over matters that fall under the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court.

Hence, the decision of the High Court, which annulled the decision of the Syariah Court, is considered wrong and cannot be upheld.

Back in December 2013, the woman in question had filed a suit at the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court to obtain a declaration that she is no longer a Muslim but in July 2017, the Syariah High Court rejected her suit. The Syariah Court of Appeal also rejected her appeal in August 2017.

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In her initial suit, the woman who was born in 1986 to a Hindu father and Buddhist mother sought a declaration that she was not a Muslim.

She said that her mother converted to Islam in 1991 and unilaterally converted her, who was 5-years-old at the time, at the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (JAIS) office. This happened while her parents were in the process of getting a divorce. Following that, her mother married a Muslim man.

The woman also claims that, even though she was converted to Islam, her mother and stepfather allowed her to continue practicing Hinduism, the religion she was born into. She added that she has not practiced Islamic teachings.

After failing at the Syariah Court, the woman filed a suit at the Shah Alam Civil High Court and managed to get a declaration that she was not a Muslim in April 2022.

This was the declaration that was overturned today.

Stay tuned for more updates.


Also read: S’gor Govt Is Considering Mandating Face Masks & Physical Distancing Again If Covid Cases Increase

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Source: Harian Metro

Follow us on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, and Instagram for the latest stories and updates daily.

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