Court to hear woman's appeal to be declared non-Muslim on Dec 16

PUTRAJAYA (Bernama): The Federal Court has fixed Dec 16 to hear a woman's appeal to be declared a non-Muslim.

Rosliza Ibrahim, 38, who was born to a Muslim father but raised as a Buddhist by her Buddhist mother, is seeking a declaration that she is a Buddhist and not a Muslim.

The date was fixed after the matter came up for case management today via E-review before deputy registrar Azniza Mohd Ali.

Senior federal counsel, Shamsul Bolhassan, when contacted, confirmed the new hearing date set.

The Attorney General's Chambers (AGC) is appearing on behalf of the government as amicus curiae (friend of the court) in the appeal.

Rosliza's appeal was initially scheduled to be heard before a nine-member bench chaired by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat on Oct 6. It was, however, postponed as a member of the Selangor Islamic Religious Council’s (Mais) legal team was quarantined after having been in close contact with a Cabinet minister who tested positive for Covid-19.

Lawyer Aston Paiva, representing Rosliza, attended the E-review proceeding on Tuesday (Oct 20) while Selangor state assistant legal adviser Siti Fatimah Talib acted for the Selangor government, and federal counsel M. Kogilambigai, for the AGC. Lawyer Azman Marsallah represented Mais.

In her originating summons filed in 2015, Rosliza sought for a declaration that she was not a Muslim and therefore the Syariah Court had no jurisdiction over her as she claimed that she was born out of wedlock to a Muslim father and her late Buddhist mother.

She lost her case in the Shah Alam High Court as it was dismissed on June 22, 2017, and her appeal at the Court of Appeal was also dismissed on April 25, 2018.

The High Court's then judicial commissioner, Datuk Seri Tun Abd Majid Tun Hamzah (now High Court judge) held that the evidence produced by Rosliza only showed that no marriage registration was made, adding that failure to register a marriage was not proof that there was no such marriage.

On Jan 20, this year, the Federal Court granted Rosliza's application for leave to appeal on two legal questions for determination by the Federal Court.- Bernama

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