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AGC opposes Emilia’s bid to challenge committal proceedings at Syariah Court

AGC opposes Emilia’s bid to challenge committal proceedings at Syariah Court

KUALA LUMPUR: The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) today objected to the leave for judicial review being sought by the former wife of a businessman regarding the jurisdiction of the Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court to initiate committal proceedings against her.

The committal proceedings against Emilia Hanafi, 43, are related to the violation of the court order regarding Datuk SM Faisal SM Nasimuddin Kamal’s visitation rights, including the right to spend the night and the location for her ex-husband to pick up their three children.

Federal counsel Mohammad Sallehuddin Md Ali, representing the AGC, said the objection was made on the grounds that the committal proceedings were under the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court and were not subject to judicial review, based on Article 121 (1A) of the Federal Constitution.

Emilia’s counsel Nizam Bashir Abdul Kariem Bashir argued that Article 126 of the Federal Constitution indicated that the power to initiate committal proceedings lies within the jurisdiction of the Federal Court, Court of Appeal and the High Court.

Nizam Bashir said the Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court cannot hear the committal proceedings against his client because she is no longer a resident of the Federal Territory and now lives in Kajang, Selangor.

Meanwhile, counsel Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader, representing SM Faisal and his mother, Puan Sri Zaleha Ismail who was also named as a respondent said when the committal proceedings started, SM Faisal and Emilia still lived in Kuala Lumpur and the woman moved to Selangor only after the case started.

Judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid fixed Aug 30 for the decision on the application.

He also rejected Emilia’s application to suspend the ongoing committal proceedings in the Syariah High Court.

Other respondents are the Registrar of the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court, the Chief Registrar of the Federal Territories Syariah Court of Appeal, the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court, the Kuala Lumpur Syariah Court of Appeal and the Government of Malaysia.

Based on the judicial review application, Emilia said she did not live or reside in the Federal Territory during the hadhanah (custody) proceedings filed at the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court on July 23, 2018. She was staying in Kajang, Selangor.

She said Section 4 of the Islamic Family Law (Federal Territories) 1984 applies to all Muslims living in the Federal Territories and those who are residents in the Federal Territories but live outside the Federal Territories.

Emilia sought a declaration that the Kuala Lumpur Syariah High Court and Syariah Court of Appeal do not have jurisdiction to hear and punish any individual who contravenes the court, as it is the exclusive right of the civil courts at the Federal Court, Court of Appeal and of High Court level, according to Article 126 of the Federal Constitution. – Bernama