Nik Elin, daughter had no locus standi in Kelantan syariah law challenge, says dissenting judge

Nik Elin Zurina Nik Abdul Rashid (centre) accompanied by her daughter, Tengku Yasmin Nastasha Tengku Abdul Rahman (second left) upon leaving the Federal Court in Putrajaya. — IZZRAFIQ ALIAS/The Star

PUTRAJAYA: The mother and daughter duo who brought forth a challenge against the Kelantan syariah law had no locus standi in the matter, says the Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak.

Justice Abdul Rahman Sebli, who held the dissenting voice in the 8-1 decision, said the constitutional right of Nik Elin Zurina Nik Abdul Rashid and her daughter Tengku Yasmin Natasha Tengku Abdul Rahman were not affected by the enforcement of the 18 impugned law provisions under the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment 2019 as they were never charged under the law.

“The petitioners also failed to demonstrate the actual controversy between them and the Kelantan state government or how they were affected by those provisions which came into force in 2021,” he said.

Abdul Rahman also said it was important for the judiciary to ensure that only petitioners with locus standi were allowed to continue their challenges.

The judge also described the legal challenge as an abuse of the court process as the Federal Court had no basis to hear the merits of the case in the first place.

“The petitioners failed to meet the threshold required for this case to be heard before this court,” he said.

He noted that the government, through the Attorney General's Chambers (AGC), did not become a party in the hearing.

On Friday, a nine-judge panel ruled, by an 8-1 majority, that 16 out of 18 law provisions in the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment 2019 were unconstitutional.

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