KUALA LUMPUR: The Federal Court has set Jan 21 to hear the Catholic Church’s judicial review application against a decision denying it leave to appeal a ban on the use of the word "Allah" in weekly publication, Herald.
Federal Court deputy Registrar Nor Aziati Jaafar fixed the date during case management of the matter in chambers, Monday.
Senior federal counsel Andi Razalijaya A. Dadi, representing the Home Ministry and the Government, said the court had instructed all the respondents (the Home Ministry and interveners comprising six state religious councils and the Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association [MCMA]) to file their respective affidavit-in-reply to the church's review application by Dec 8.
He also said the applicant, being the church, and the respondents were also required to file their written submissions by Jan 7, next year.
Lawyer James Lopez appeared for the church while lawyer Tajuddin Razak represented the Malaysian Chinese Muslim Association (MCMA) and also mentioned on behalf of the lawyers for the Terengganu state Islamic religious council.
Lawyer Mohd Fasha Mustafa appeared for the Federal Territory Islamic religious council and the Selangor state Islamic council and also mentioned on behalf of the lawyer for the Malacca and Johor state councils.
On Sept 19, the Catholic Church filed a review application against the June 23 majority judgment of aseven-member panel of the Federal Court dismissing the church's application for leave to proceed with its appeal.
On June 23 this year, a seven-member panel of the Federal Court, chaired by Chief Justice 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