Federal Court rules 16 provisions in Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment null and void

Chief Justice of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli dissented.

09 Feb 2024 10:17am
The Federal Court in an 8-1 majority decision today allowed an application by two Muslim women to nullify 18 provisions under the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment 2019. - FILE PIX
The Federal Court in an 8-1 majority decision today allowed an application by two Muslim women to nullify 18 provisions under the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment 2019. - FILE PIX
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PUTRAJAYA - The Federal Court in an 8-1 majority decision today allowed an application by two Muslim women to nullify 16 provisions under the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment 2019.

The landmark decision was delivered by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat who led a panel of nine judges.

Judge Tengku Maimun ruled that Sections 11, 14, 16, 17, 31, 34, 36, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48 of the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code (1)Enactment 2019 are null and void.

Chief Justice of Sabah and Sarawak Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli dissented.

The other panel members are Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, Chief Justice of Malaya Tan Sri Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, and Federal Court judges Tan Sri Nallini Pathmanathan, Datuk Mary Lim Thiam Suan, Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal, Datuk Nordin Hassan and Datuk Abu Bake Jais.

Nik Elin Zurina Nik Abdul Rashid, who hails from Kelantan, and her daughter, Tengku Yasmin Nastasha Abdul Rahman filed the petition to the Federal Court under Article 4(4) of the Federal Constitution and named the Kelantan government as the sole respondent.

The two women challenged the constitutionality and legality of 18 provisions in the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code (1) Enactment 2019 claiming that the Kelantan State Legislative Assembly (DUN) does not have the authority to legislate on the 18 offences because there is a Federal law that covers such offences.

The court today allowed their application to revoke 16 of the offences.

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Following are the 16 provisions of offences in the Kelantan Syariah Penal Code (1) Enactment 2019 which are void and not validly enforced in the state.

Section 11: Destroying or defiling place of worship

Section 14: Sodomy

Section 16: Sexual intercourse with a corpse

Section 17: Sexual intercourse with non-human

Section 31: Sexual harassment

Section 34: Possessing false document, giving false evidence, information or statement

Section 36: Anything intoxicating

Section 39: Reducing scale, measurement and weight

Section 40: Executing transactions contrary to 'hukum syarak' (Syariah Law)

Section 41: Executing transactions via usury

Section 42: Abuse of halal label and connotation

Section 43: Offering or providing vice services

Section 44: Preparatory act of offering or providing vice services

Section 45: Preparatory act of vice

Section 47: Act of incest

Section 48: Muncikari (men dressed in women's clothing or vice versa)

The two sections maintained by the Federal Court are:

Section 13: Selling or giving away child to non-Muslim or morally reprehensible Muslim

Section 30: Words capable of breaking peace - BERNAMA