Thursday, September 15, 2011

Parliament should legislate laws to ensure clearly the rights and obligations of those who convert to Islam.

High Court on Thursday, 15/9/11

Indira Gandi has 3 children in marriage with Patmanathan a/l Krishnan.

Their 3 children who were all minors were converted into Islam by Patmanathan without the consent and or knowledge of the mother Indira Gandhi in the Ipoh Syariah court.

On 2April 2009 the 6th defendant Patmanathan a/l Krishnan obtained a conversion certificate from 1st and 2nd defendants (Pengarah Jabatan Agama Islam Perak and Pendaftar Muallaf).

Indira then filed a motion on 9th June 2009 in the High Court of Ipoh to quash the decision of the Syariah court certificate of conversion.

On 11thMarch 2011; Justice Wan Afrah gave custody and control of the 3 children to Indira Gandhi.
On the 20th July 2010, Justice Zainal Abiddin gave leave for Indira Gandhi a/p Mutho to proceed for the quashing/ hearing of the substantive case.

Subsequently on 5th May 2011, Indira filed an application to transfer the case and to be heard in the Federal Court.

The brief basis of her application were:-

1) The issues raised in Indira's case have arisen numerous times in Malaysia previously and have often times resulted in litigation without any final pronouncement by the Apex court.
These issues continue to garner public discourse as it relates to the rights and obligations of parents in determining the uploading and well being of their children

2) Given the importance of this issue to Malaysian society as a whole, it is only right that the federal court rule on this matter to avoid further confusion in the law.

3) In addition, a long time has passed for this particular applicant and her children- stuck as they are in this crisis of identity-- makes it desirable that a speedy and expeditious resolution of this issue is made

Indira's lawyers have proposed the following questions of law for the determination of the Federal Court

1) Can one parent unilaterally convert a minor child of a non-Muslim marriage to Islam
2) Does the High Court retain its jurisdiction to determine the validity of any such "conversion" even when it has been registered by a registrar of Muallafs, and to determine all matters concerning the custody of such children?
3) Does the Syariah court have any jurisdiction to make any
order in relation to such children where one parent remains a person who does not profess Islam
4) In the event the High court and Syariah court make conflicting orders, which court's decision should prevail

Case heard by Judicial Commissioner Teramazi today.

Plaintiff Indira Gandhi represented by 1) M.Kula 2) K. Shanmuga 3) En. Fahari Azzat
1) Pengarah Jabatan Agama Islam Perak
2) Pendaftar Muallaf
3) Kerajaan Negeri Perak -- represented Tuan Mohd Hamzah
4) Kementerian Pelajaran Malaysia
5) Kerajaan Malaysia-Represented Tuan Noor Hisham b ismail Senior Federal Council
6) Patmanathan a/l Krishnan- Represented by Tuan Hj Hatim Musa

Malaysian courts are unnecessarily burdened to decide issues of conversion as laws on conversion are murky in Malaysia.

It should be for Parliament to legislate laws to ensure clearly the rights and obligations of those who convert to Islam.

As conversion is a politically sensitive matter the Government is dragging its feet without any final conclusion. The lack of political will by the Government is the cause of continuous inertia in conversion issues

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