KUALA LUMPUR: Justice Ahmad Kamal Shahid will hear a lawsuit by 14 plaintiffs seeking to declare state laws allowing the unilateral conversion of non-Muslim children into the Islamic faith as illegal.
Rajesh Nagarajan, who represents the plaintiffs, said the judge will also hear applications by the Federal Territories Islamic Religious Council and the Kuala Lumpur shariah bar council to join as parties to the suit.
The lawyer said Kamal will also hear a leave application filed by Aisyah Ali, a plaintiff in the suit, to cite five officers of the Kota Tinggi Islamic department for contempt of court arising from an incident which took place after the case was filed in March.
“We came to know the judge assigned to the case through the court’s e-filing system yesterday,” Rajesh told FMT.
Rajesh said all parties to the suit, including those seeking leave to intervene, will appear before the judge at a case management on July 3 to obtain further directions.
The suit was initially filed in the civil division of the High Court here and was assigned to the court presided over by judicial commissioner Roz Mawar Rozain.
It was later transferred to the court’s appellate and special powers division by a deputy registrar.
On March 3, the plaintiffs filed the suit seeking to nullify state laws allowing one parent to consent to the conversion of children to Islam without the consent of the other.
The plaintiffs include Hindu mother M Indira Gandhi who, on Jan 29, 2018, successfully got the Federal Court to nullify the unilateral conversion of her three children by ex-husband Riduan Abdullah.
The other plaintiffs are former chairman of the Malaysia Hindu Sangam S Mohan and Arun Dorasamy of Hindu Agamam Ani. Arun is also the chairman of the Indira Gandhi action team.
The remaining plaintiffs are individuals who reside in Perlis, Kedah, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Johor and Kuala Lumpur.
They have named the state governments of Perlis, Kedah, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Johor and the federal government as defendants.
The plaintiffs are seeking a declaration that unilateral conversions are unconstitutional and in breach of Article 12(4) of the Federal Constitution.