Court has yet to decide on Lina Joy’s appeal
PUTRAJAYA: There will be no decision yet on Lina Joy’s appeal to the Federal Court against the Court of Appeal’s majority decision on Sept 19 last year which ruled that the National Registration Department director-general was right in not allowing her application to delete the word “Islam” from her identity card.
Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim said the three-man bench comprising himself, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak, Datuk Richard Malanjum and Federal Court judge Datuk Alauddin Mohd Sheriff needed time to look into the submissions by the parties carefully because the issue was sensitive.
He said the judges had to consider the submissions of every non-governmental organisation (NGO) that was represented by counsel in the appeal.
The NGOs included the Malaysian Council for Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism and Sikhism; Hakam, Malaysian Women Lawyers Association and National Council of Women’s Organisation, All Women’s Action Society, Sisters In Islam, Women’s Aid Organisation, Women’s Centre for Change and Women’s Development Collective.
“That is why we need to have some time. We can’t rush this thing. We have to be very careful when we write our reasons,” he said.
On July 3, the Federal Court reserved its judgment to a date to be fixed.
Lina, 42, was born Azlina Jailani to Malay parents. She was brought up as a Muslim but at the age of 26 decided to become a Christian. In 1999, she managed to change the name in her identity card to Lina Joy but her religion remained as Islam.
On April 23, 2001, the High Court refused to decide on her application to renounce Islam as her religion on the grounds that the issue should be decided by the Syariah Court.
It also dismissed her application for an order to direct the department to drop the word “Islam” from her identity card.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Fairuz will be heading to Beijing on Sunday for a week-long working trip to China.
He said the visit, which was at the invitation of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of China, was part of the judiciary’s objective to study the legal systems of other countries and to foster state relations between the two countries.
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