Married couple retract suit against Jawi, govt

married-jawiKUALA LUMPUR: A married couple, who sued the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Department (Jawi) on claims they were wrongly arrested for khalwat (close proximity), retracted their lawsuit at the 11th hour before the trial was to start today.

Senior federal counsel Kamal Azira Hassan, representing Jawi and the government, said the man, Mohd Ridhuan Giman, told the High Court they did not wish to proceed with the case on the grounds of financial restraint.

“The attorney-general’s chambers is ready to hear the case for the next three days. Our witnesses have even come today.

“Since they do not want to pursue the case, we seek costs as we have prepared all the documentation for the trial.”

He said the couple’s lawyers had also recused themselves before the trial started.

The trial was scheduled for today, Friday and Jan 8.

Kamal demanded that the couple apologise for calling the media and publicising their case against Jawi.

Trial judge Justice Nordin Hassan made an order to strike out the suit but did not order Ridhuan to apologise as the case had not been heard and no facts had been established.

The court also ordered the couple to pay RM3,000 as costs to the government.

Ridhuan and his wife, Siti Sarah Maulad Abdullah, had sued Jawi last year on their claim that they were wrongfully arrested and their privacy invaded during the department’s raid on a budget hotel in January last year.

They sought damages, an apology from the department and withdrawal of further investigations.

They named Jawi, its director-general, two Jawi enforcement officers, the Prime Minister’s Department and the Malaysian government in their suit.

Jawi had maintained the couple’s arrest was lawful and they had not provided proof that they were married.