Irshad Manji book: Judicial review fixed for July 31
UPDATED @ 04:35:32 PM 25-07-2012
KUALA LUMPUR, July 25 — The High Court has fixed Tuesday for leave application for a judicial review sought by the publisher of Irshad Manji’s book, “Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta”, against the Selangor Islamic Religious Department (Jais) action in seizing 180 books in May.
Judge Datuk Rohana Yusuf set the date in chambers today, in the presence of counsel K. Shanmuga and Senior Federal Counsel Noor Hisham Ismail.
Noor Hisham told reporters his party had earlier opposed the application made by ZI Publications Sdn Bhd and its director, Mohd Ezra Mohd Zaid.
He said it was based on the reason that only the Federal Court has the power to declare whether Section 16 of the Syariah Criminal Enactment (Selangor) 1995, which was used to investigate Mohd Ezra, was valid.
“We also contended that the impugned decision was not amenable for a judicial review. We can’t review the investigation process of the authority,” he said.
ZI Publications and Mohd Ezra Mohd Zaid filed the application on July 9.
They named Jais, its director-general, Selangor Religious Department enforcement chief, Selangor Syarie prosecution chief, the Selangor Government and the Malaysian Government as respondents.
Among others, they applied for an order of certiorari to cancel the action by Jais officers who raided and confiscated 180 books on May 29 at ZI Publications located at B-2-19, Merchant Square, Jalan Tropicana Selatan 1, PJU 3, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Their application was also for the return of all copies of the seized 388-page book.
Besides that, they applied for a certiorari order to cancel an arrest on May 29 and prosecution by Jais of Mohd Ezra.
They also applied for a declaration that Section 16 of the Syariah Criminal Enactment (Selangor) 1995, regarding investigations on Mohd Ezra, is cancelled and declared invalid as it is inconsistent with Article 10(1)(a) and 8(1) of the Federal Constitution.
Meanwhile, Berjaya Books Sdn Bhd, which owns Borders bookstores, is applying to the High Court to stay further action by the Federal Territory Islamic Department (Jawi) over the seizure of Irshad Manji’s controversial book from one of its branches.
The judge, Rohana, will hear on Monday, an application sought by Berjaya Books, Borders’ general manager of operations and merchandising Stephen Fung Wye Keong, and store manager of the Borders bookstore at The Gardens in Mid Valley City, Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz.
Deputy Registrar of the High Court Raja Noor Adilla Raja Mahyaldin set the date in chambers after the matter came up for case management.
Berjaya Books counsel Ang Hean Leng told reporters that the applicants sought a stay of any action by Jawi, including searching and seizing of the publication, probing of Borders employees and all subsequent proceedings arising from Jawi’s action, until the disposal of the judicial review application.
He said the stay application was to maintain the status quo so that no further action is taken against his client until the judicial review is over.
On June 25, Berjaya Books and its two employees had obtained leave for a judicial review from the High Court to challenge the seizure of the book by Jawi.
The court will hear on September 13 the merit of the judicial review.
In the leave application, the three are seeking, among others, a certiorari order to quash the decision by Jawi officers to raid, search and seize Irshad Manji’s book, “Allah, Liberty and Love”, and its Malay translation, “Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta”, on May 23 from the Borders bookstore at The Gardens Mall in Mid Valley City.
They are also seeking a certiorari order to quash a decision to prosecute Nik Raina at the Syariah High Court for distributing the book.
Nik Raina was charged on June 19, with distributing and selling the book, said to contravene Islamic law, at the bookstore between 8.41pm and 9.45pm on May 23.
The case was initially fixed for mention on September 13 at the Syariah High Court but has been brought forward to August 7. — Bernama