Thursday May 31, 2007
Federal Court rejects Lina's appeal in a majority decision
By CHELSEA L.Y. NG and RAPHAEL WONG
PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court, in a majority decision, has rejected Lina Joy's appeal to compel the National Registration Department (NRD) to remove the word Islam from her identity card.
The 42-year-old will now have to either subject herself to the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court on whether she is an apostate or seek a review of the Federal Court decision.
Chief Justice Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim ruled that the NRD had reasonably imposed a condition requiring Lina to obtain a certificate of apostasy from the Syariah Court before it proceeds to make the deletion.
The second most senior judge on the Bench, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Richard Malanjum, however, handed down a dissenting judgment criticising the NRD’s act as “unconstitutional and discriminatory”.
The third judge on the panel, Federal Court judge Justice Alauddin Mohd Sheriff, concurred with the Chief Justice in dismissing Lina’s appeal.
Approached after the judgment, Lina’s lawyer Benjamin Dawson said he was considering filing for a review of the judgment.