Unilateral conversion: Appellate Court to appeal on Oct 29

Unilateral conversion: Appellate Court to appeal on Oct 29

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has rescheduled the hearing of the appeals by the Federal Territory Registrar of Muallaf and a Muslim-convert mother against a High Court’s decision to quash the unilateral conversion of her two children to Islam to Oct 29.

The mother’s lawyer, Arham Rahimy Hariri who attended the case management for the appeals today told reporters that the court also set Aug 5 to hear the applications by the Registrar of Muallaf and the mother regarding on whether the government should be included as parties in the appeals.

The matter was earlier scheduled for hearing before the appellate court’s three-member panel today but it was put off after one of the judges, Datuk Mary Lim Thiam Suan, recused herself from hearing the matter as she had heard related matters.

The other two judges were Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi and Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil.

The matter was then reverted to case management before deputy registrar K. B Elena Hong Tze Lan in chambers to set the new hearing date.

On Oct 16 last year, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur allowed the judicial review by the father of the children, a Buddhist, to quash the unilateral conversion to Islam of his two children born in a civil marriage when his now ex-wife was still a Buddhist.

High Court judge Datuk Azizah Nawawi had noted that it was not in dispute that the children were converted without the consent of both parents, adding that the court was bound by the Federal Court’s decision in Indira Gandhi case.

The Federal Court’s five-man panel in Indira’s case had, on January 29 last year, ruled that the consent of both parents are required before a child born in a civil marriage can be converted to Islam.

In Indira’s case, a Hindu mother had filed a similar judicial review application to challenge her Muslim convert ex-husband’s unilateral conversion of their three children.

In today’s case, the father of the children, a businessman, filed a judicial review to quash the conversion of his two young children who were converted to Islam in May 2016 without his knowledge and consent.

The names of the family, including the father and mother, cannot be disclosed due to a court order.

Lawyer Datuk Sulaiman Abdullah represented the Federal Territory Registrar of Muallaf while lawyer K. Shanmuga appeared for the father.

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