Apex Court nine-man bench to deliver verdict on SIS Forum's legal challenge on Monday

16 Feb 2022 07:05pm
Palace of Justice, Putrajaya - Source: 123rf
Palace of Justice, Putrajaya - Source: 123rf

PUTRAJAYA - The Federal Court nine-member bench will deliver its decision this Monday (Feb 21) on a legal action by SIS Forum (Malaysia) to challenge a Selangor Islamic Enactment provision which empowered the state Syariah High Court to review fatwa issued by the state religious authorities.

One of the lawyers representing SIS, Surendra Ananth, when contacted, said they received a notification from the court today informing of the decision date.

The decision will be delivered virtually via zoom.

On Oct 12 last year, the bench, led by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat reserved the court's decision after lawyers representing SIS and the Selangor Government completed their submissions in the case.

The bench had heard submission from lawyer Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, who appeared for SIS and also by Selangor state legal adviser Datuk Salim Soib @ Hamid, who acted for the Selangor government, as well as from lawyers Zainur Zakaria and Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, representing the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (MAIS), which was allowed to intervene in the case.

The other judges on the bench were Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Rohana Yusuf, Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim and Federal Court judges Datuk Seri Mohd Zawawi Salleh, Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, Puan Sri Zaleha Yusof, Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal and Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang.

On Sept 22, last year, the Federal Court granted SIS leave to pursue its legal challenge in the Federal Court through Article 4(4) of the Federal Constitution.

SIS sought leave to commence the challenge seeking to declare as invalid Section 66A of the Administration of the Religion of Islam (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003 which states that the Syariah High Court may, in the interest of justice, on the application of any person, have the jurisdiction to grant permission and hear the application for judicial review on the decision made by the council or committees carrying out the functions under this Enactment.

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SIS filed the application in the Federal Court on Jan 21, 2020, naming the Selangor Government as respondent after the High Court in Kuala Lumpur dismissed its judicial review application against a Selangor religious authority’s fatwa labelling the group as deviant in 2019. - BERNAMA