PETALING JAYA: Shah Alam MP Khalid Abdul Samad has turned to the Federal Court to challenge the constitutionality of the Selangor Islamic religious law that he has been found guilty of contravening.
Lawyer Nadzratun Naim Ammad Azizi said his client’s leave application to appeal against the Court of Appeal ruling would be heard on April 10.
“We have filed one question of law for the apex court’s approval in order to hear the merit of the appeal,” she told FMT.
Last November, a three-man Court of Appeal bench, led by Vernon Ong Lam Kiat, said Khalid should have gone straight to the Federal Court as the subject matter was the competence of the Selangor state assembly to pass enactments.
Ong said the issue was not whether Section 119 (1) of the Selangor Islamic Religious Administration Enactment was in breach of freedom of religion under Article 11 of the Federal Constitution.
Government lawyer Suzana Atan took the position that Khalid should have utilised Article 4 (1) to first obtain leave from a single Federal Court judge before mounting the legal challenge.
“His mode of filing a judicial review in the High Court to challenge the validity of the enactment is misplaced,” she had said.
Nadzratun had said the judicial review was filed as his client was challenging Section 119(1) of the state enactment for being in violation of the Constitution.
She said the High Court had jurisdiction to strike down an enactment which breached the rights of citizens.
Nadzratun said her client relied on Articles 4(3) and 4(4) to file the action in the High Court.
Yesterday, the Klang Shariah Lower Court fined Khalid RM2,900 after finding him guilty of giving a religious talk at a surau in Taman Seri Sementa without valid credentials, an offence under Section 119 (1) of the enactment.
Last year, soon after the religious court ordered him to enter his defence, Khalid filed a judicial review in the Shah Alam High Court to challenge the constitutionality of the provision.
On May 30 last year, Justice Yazid Mustafa declined to grant leave to challenge the provision on grounds that the application was frivolous, vexatious and intended to delay Khalid’s trial in the religious court.