Catholic Church files review application over Federal Court decision on 'Allah' issue

  • Nation
  • Friday, 19 Sep 2014

PUTRAJAYA: The Catholic Church has filed a review application against a Federal Court decision denying leave to appeal the Home Minister's ban on the use of the word 'Allah' in its weekly publication, Herald.

The church's counsel, Benjamin Dawson, confirmed that the review application was filed about 3pm Friday at the Federal Court registry here.

He explained that the review application was based on three broad grounds.

The first was that there were certain legal issues central to the leave application which were not considered by the majority judgment of the Federal Court, such as the Constitutional questions relating to the scope of Article 3 and Article 11 of the Federal Constitution.

Dawson said the Church further contended that there was also the fact the Home Minister's decision to prohibit the use of the word, 'Allah', in the Herald had also taken into account a theological consideration.

Dawson said the second ground for the review was that the Federal Court's majority judgement had decided on certain legal issues which were not argued nor raised by the parties before the Federal Court or the Court of Appeal such as on the Constitutional validity of Section 9 of the Anti-Propagation Enactment.

"The third ground is that the Herald's case is one of the most important Constitutional cases to have come before our Court, particularly where minority rights are concerned," he said.

He added there existed a public interest factor to support the review application.

On June 23 this year, the seven-member Federal Court panel chaired by Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria, in a majority judgment, dismissed the Catholic Church's application for leave to appeal.

The church is seeking leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal's decision delivered on Oct 14, last year, which allowed the Government's appeal to overturn the 2009 High Court's decision that the Herald could use the word, 'Allah'.

On Dec 31, 2009, the High Court declared that the decision by the Home Ministry in banning the Herald from using the word, 'Allah', was illegal, null and void.

The Roman Catholic Church, led by Kuala Lumpur Archdiocese Archbishop Emeritus Murphy Pakiam filed a judicial review application in 2009, naming the Home Ministry and the Government as respondents, seeking, among others, a declaration that the Ministry's decision to prohibit the use of the word, 'Allah', in the Herald was illegal. - Bernama

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