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Waytha: Federal Court should have censured Syariah Court (FMT)

Waytha: Federal Court should have censured Syariah Court

 | February 12, 2016

The Federal Court didn't rule on the invalidity of the conversion but instead obviously expects a Hindu mother to bring up her daughter as a Muslim until she is 18 and can get to choose.

WaythamoorthyKUALA LUMPUR: The Federal Court (FC), said Hindraf Makkal Sakthi Chairman P. Waythamoorthy on the Deepa inter-faith case, should have censured the Syariah Court for carrying on as if it was equal in status to the civil court. “It’s an inferior court under the Federal Constitution but went out on a limb and further complicated matters.”

Two other preliminary points the Hindraf Chairman stressed was the FC making no mention of the Inspector of General of Police “literally humiliating” the High Court by flatly refusing to implement the custody order. “It’s obvious the Syariah Court has no jurisdiction on matters that come within civil law. If the IGP was a man of law, he would know that.”

Waytha, briefly a Senator and Deputy Minister during 2013/2014, in any case looks forward to the Federal Court’s (FC) written judgment on the Deepa inter-faith case. “The FC arbitrarily varied the High Court judgment to give custody of the son to the converted father,” he lamented in a telephone interview . “On what basis did the FC do this? Just because the Panel interviewed a frightened little boy privately? Rulings must be based on facts and law and who the Court believes.”

“Can any Court believe a convert father who made his family suffer for no rhyme or reason? Family comes first. Thinking family means supporting family members.”

The English authorities, as pointed out by Kulai MP Teo Nie Ching on Facebook said Waytha, have long established this principle: if one parent “created” a status by illegal or immoral means, he or she cannot use “status quo shall be maintained” or “the child has settled down with the arrangement” as a reason later in fighting for custody of the child.

The FC should have given custody of the boy to the mother as well, he added. “The children should be with the mother. She has the greater claim. After all she bore them for 40 weeks and gave birth to them. Besides, a convert is not exactly a suitable person to bring up children born to a Hindu family. There’s prejudice and bias just as there would have been prejudice and bias because the case was not decided by non-Muslim/non-Hindu judges.”

The FC, continued Waytha, should have shown some mercy and compassion. “It should have kept humanitarian considerations in mind. Why split a family further just because the father went off at a tangent?”

The FC, pointed out the Hindraf Chairman, does not seem to have realized that it had separated a son from the mother, a brother from the sister. “This is because it didn’t rule on the invalidity of the conversion but instead obviously expects a Hindu mother to bring up her daughter as a Muslim until she is 18 and can get to choose.”

“It appears that the boy must wait until 18 as well before he can return to his faith, the faith of his family and ancestors since time immemorial.”

Elsewhere, the Hindraf Chairman expressed surprise that the FC did not visit the matter of the father kidnapping the boy from his mother two days after the High Court granted her custody of the children. “This was tantamount to contempt of Court. Instead, the FC legalized and regularized the kidnapping.”

“The issue of the kidnapping and contempt should have been dealt with first. Revisiting the custody issue does not arise.”