e-JUDGMENT TODAY [2021] CLJ JT (3)
 

ROSLIZA IBRAHIM v. KERAJAAN NEGERI SELANGOR & ANOR
FEDERAL COURT, PUTRAJAYA
TENGKU MAIMUN TUAN MAT CJ
ROHANA YUSUF PCA
AZAHAR MOHAMED CJ (MALAYA)
NALLINI PATHMANATHAN FCJ
ABDUL RAHMAN SEBLI FCJ
ZABARIAH MOHD YUSOF FCJ
HASNAH MOHAMMED HASHIM FCJ
MARY LIM FCJ
RHODZARIAH BUJANG FCJ
[CIVIL APPEAL NO: 01(f)-2-01-2020(B)]
5 FEBRUARY 2021

Abstract: The Syariah Court may only exercise jurisdiction over a person when it has over him both jurisdiction ratione personae, which is contingent on the person’s legal persona, and jurisdiction ratione materiae or subject matter jurisdiction. Absent these jurisdictions the Syariah Court is not empowered to exercise any power over a person and if exercised would be ultra vires the Federal Constitution (FC). This said, in cases where a person’s religious status of whether he is a Muslim or not is in dispute, a distinction needs be drawn between cases where one ‘no longer professes the religion of Islam’ and one who ‘never professes the religion of Islam’; only the former which refers to renunciation cases is justiciable before the Syariah Court; the latter, which necessarily engages the issue of one’s identity and legal status, must fall within the jurisdiction of the Civil Court. There is also a notable difference between the term ‘profess and practise’ and ‘profess’ as used in art. 11(1) of the FC and Item 1 of the State List of the FC respectively; ‘profess’ per se is a constitutional term that is justiciable before the Civil Court, whilst ‘profess and practise’ is a question of faith and dogma and falls within the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court by virtue of art. 121(1A) of the FC.

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Jurisdiction – Syariah and Civil Courts – Legal status of child – Born to Buddhist mother and Muslim father – Whether Buddhist or Muslim – Whether illegitimate child – Whether parents married at time of birth – Whether constitutionally a person 'professing the religion of Islam' – Whether 'has never been a Muslim' – Whether case of 'no longer a Muslim' – Justiciability – Whether before Syariah or Civil Court – Federal Constitution, art. 121(1A); Item 1, List II, Ninth Schedule – Administration of the Religion of Islam (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003 s. 2 & 2(b) – Islamic Family Law (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003 s. 111

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Jurisdiction – Syariah Court – Jurisdictions ratione personae and ratione materiae – Whether must exist before Syariah Court could exercise jurisdiction over person – Legal status of child at birth – Born to Buddhist mother and Muslim father – Whether Buddhist or Muslim – Whether matter of renunciation of Islam – Whether within exclusive domain of Syariah Court – Federal Constitution, art. 121(1A); Item 1, List II, Ninth Schedule – Administration of the Religion of Islam (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003 s. 2 & 2(b) – Islamic Family Law (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003, s. 111

CONSTITUTIONAL LAW: Courts – Federal Court – Competency – Legal status of child – Whether illegitimate – Whether Buddhist or Muslim – Issue of paternity (Nasab) – Whether transgressing into Islamic law jurisprudence – Whether Civil Court incompetent on its own to decide on issue without opinion of Islamic jurists – Federal Constitution, art. 121(1A); Item 1, List II, Ninth Schedule – Administration of the Religion of Islam (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003 ss. 2 & 53 – Islamic Family Law (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003, s. 111

ISLAMIC LAW: Jurisdiction – Syariah Court – Illegitimate child – Religious status – Whether Buddhist or Muslim – Whether person 'professing the religion of Islam' – Whether Syariah Court had no jurisdiction to determine status of person who 'has never been a Muslim' – Whether jurisdiction restricted to person who 'was no longer a Muslim' – Jurisdictions ratione personae and ratione materiae – Federal Constitution, art. 121(1A); Item 1, List II, Ninth Schedule – Administration of the Religion of Islam (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003 s. 2, 2(b) – Islamic Family Law (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003, s. 111

WORDS & PHRASES: 'Professing the religion of Islam' – Item 1, List II, Ninth Schedule, Federal Constitution – 'and' – Federal Constitution, art. 11(1) – Import and purport

WORDS & PHRASES: 'Muslim'; 'parent' – Administration of the Religion of Islam (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003, s. 2 & 2(b) – Whether one a Muslim if either or both parents Muslim at time of birth – Whether 'parent' only referring to parent of legitimate child

WORDS & PHRASES: 'Nasab' – Ascription of paternity – Section 111 Islamic Family Law (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003 – Illegitimate child – Religion of putative father – Whether could be ascribed to illegitimate child

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