Federal Court reserves judgement on bid to challenge Kelantan syariah criminal Enactment

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has reserved judgement in a bid by a mother and a daughter to nullify 18 Kelantan syariah criminal enactment.

Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat said that the apex court reserves its decision after hearing submissions from several parties.

Earlier on Monday (Nov 20) the nine-member bench heard oral submissions from the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Maiwp), Perak Islamic Religious Council and Malay Custom (Maipk), Kelantan Islamic Religious Council (Maik), Muslim Lawyers Association Malaysia, the Malaysian Bar and Sisters in Islam (SIS).

Mother Nik Elin Zurina Nik Abdul Rashid and her daughter Tengku Yasmin Nastasha Tengku Abdul Rahman had filed their challenge on May 25 at the Federal Court via Article 4(4) of the Federal Constitution, naming the Kelantan state government as the respondent.

The duo had filed a constitutional challenge against 18 provisions under Kelantan’s syariah criminal enactment.

They argued that these provisions, which include punishments for incest, gambling, necrophilia, sodomy, sexual harassment, and among others, were invalid as it is already covered by federal law.

The duo also argued that the power to legislate criminal matters belong to the Parliament, as state assemblies only have the right to enact laws concerning Islamic faith.

Other members of the panel were Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Amar Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, Court of Appeal judge Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli, Federal Court judges Tan Sri Nallini Pathmanathan, Datuk Mary Lim Thiam Suan, Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal, Datuk Nordin Hassan, and Datuk Abu Bakar Jais.

Nik Elin and Tengku Yasmin were represented by lawyers Datuk Malik Imtiaz Sarwar and Surendra Ananth.

Meanwhile, lawyer Kamaruzaman Arif represented the Kelantan Government, while lawyers Rafique Rashid Ali, Adham Jamalullail Ibrahim, Arham Rahimy Hariri and Haniff Khatri Abdullah represented the religious councils and Muslim lawyers’ group.

Prior to the court’s verdict, PAS supporters were seen gathering near the Palace of Justice.

There was a crowd of more than 1,000 individuals, who were mostly PAS members who hailed from Kelantan, Kedah and Terengganu.

Source: The Star


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