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Court’s verdict nothing to do with Islamic doctrine, says lawyer Nik Elin

By JUNAID IBRAHIM

PETALING JAYA: The court’s verdict on Friday (Feb 9) has nothing to do with the doctrine of Islam but rather it is about harmonising the laws between both Shariah and civil courts, says lawyer Nik Elin Zurina Nik Abdul Rashid.

She also said that she was hopeful that state assemblies would be more careful when drafting state legislations following the decision made by the Federal Court on Friday (Feb 9).

“(The verdict has) Nothing to do with the Islamic doctrine, and the court has decided that it was only about the competency of the state legislative assembly (in drafting legislation).

“I hope that this case would harmonise the Shariah and civil courts,” she told reporters at the Palace of Justice here.

The Kelantan-born lawyer and her daughter Tengku Yasmin Nastasha Tengku Abdul Rahman had filed their challenge on May 25 at the Federal Court via Article 4(4) of the Federal Constitution, naming the Kelantan state government as the respondent.

They argued that these provisions, which included punishments for incest, gambling, necrophilia, sodomy, sexual harassment and among others, were invalid as it is already covered by federal law.

They also argued that the power to legislate criminal matters belong to the Parliament, as state assemblies only had the right to enact laws concerning Islamic faith.

Nik Elin said she was grateful for the ruling made as it would uphold the supremacy of the Federal Constitution for the betterment of the country.

“I did this not for myself, I did it for everyone despite receiving backlash,” she said.

Earlier, the Federal Court had ruled that 16 provisions of the Kelantan Syariah state law were unconstitutional.

In an 8-1 majority decision, the apex court allowed the application by a mother and daughter duo who challenged 18 provisions under the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment 2019.

Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, who chaired a panel of nine judges, ruled that Sections 11, 14, 16, 17, 31, 34, 36, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 47, 48 of the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code (1) Enactment 2019 were null and void.

The sole dissenting judgment came from Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Justice Abdul Rahman Sebli.

The duo had filed a constitutional challenge against 18 provisions under Kelantan’s syariah criminal enactment.

Source: Court’s verdict nothing to do with Islamic doctrine, says lawyer Nik Elin-The Star

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