INDIRA GANDHI MUTHO v. PENGARAH JABATAN AGAMA ISLAM PERAK & ORS AND OTHER APPEALS

[2018] 2 MLRA 1

INDIRA GANDHI MUTHO v. PENGARAH JABATAN AGAMA ISLAM PERAK & ORS AND OTHER APPEALS
Federal Court, Putrajaya
Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin PCA, Richard Malanjum CJSS, Zainun Ali, A Samah Nordin, Ramly Ali FCJJ
[Civil Appeals No: 01(f)-17-06-2016(A), 01(f)-18-06-2016(A) & 01(f)-19-06-2016(A)]
29 January 2018

JUDGMENT

Zainun Ali FCJ:

[1] The often misunderstood concept of Islamisation surrounding the issue of religious conversion of young children into the Islamic faith makes articulation of this issue important.

Background Of The Appeals

[2] There are three appeals before this court. They are:

i. Civil Appeal No: 01(f)-17-06-2016 (A) (Appeal No 17)

ii. Civil Appeal No: 01(f)-18-06-2016 (A) (Appeal No 18)

iii. Civil Appeal No: 01(f)-19-06-2016 (A) (Appeal No 19)

[3] The appellant in the appeals, Indira Gandhi a/p Mutho is appealing against the decision of the Court of Appeal dated 30 November 2015 allowing the appeals filed by the respondents in Appeals No 17, 18 and 19, respectively.

[4] The Court of Appeal set aside the decision of the High Court in allowing the appellant's application for judicial review for an order of certiorari to quash the certificates of conversion to Islam of the children in her marriage with Patmanathan a/l Krishnan, the respondent in Appeal No 19.

[5] In her application for judicial review, the respondent husband was cited as the 6th respondent while the respondents in Appeal No 17 (Director of the Islamic Religious Affairs Department of Perak, the Registrar of Muallafs and the Perak Government) and the respondents in Appeal No 18 (the Ministry of Education and the Government of Malaysia) were respectively cited as the 1st to the 5th respondents.

[6] The Federal Court had granted leave for the following questions of law:

1. Whether the High Court has the exclusive jurisdiction pursuant to ss 23, 24 and 25 and the Schedule of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 (read together with O 53 of the Rules of Court 2012) and/ or its inherent jurisdiction to review the actions of the Registrar of Muallafs or his delegate acting as public authorities in exercising statutory powers vested by the Administration of the Religion of Islam (Perak) Enactment 2004.

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