Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Allah court case commenced

Court case on "Allah" has commenced officially. The following was taken from http://www.mysinchew.com/node/10666:

KUALA LUMPUR: The government wants the High Court of Kuala Lumpur to throw out the suit by the Roman Catholic Church here to defend its right to use the word “Allah” in its weekly publication on grounds that it is irregular, misconceived, and an abuse of the process of the court.
However, Federal Counsels representing the government have no objection to the church’s application to get the court to declare the government’s prohibition over the Allah word null and void.
In the continuation of hearing of the church’s efforts to present its case to the court, the church’s lawyers; Porres Royan, Leonard Teoh, S. Selvarajah, and Annou Xavier are asking for three areas of reliefs.
Senior Federal Counsel Azizah Haji Nawawi and Suzanna Atan representing the Internal Security Minister (previously Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and now Syed Hamid Albar) and the government before Madam Justice Lau Bee Lan here today said they have no objections to the church’s bid to declare the respondents’ decision prohibiting the use of the word in Herald-The Catholic Weekly-as illegal and null and void.
However, they objected to the application for leave filed by the Titular Roman Catholic Church of Kuala Lumpur, Datuk Murphy Pakiam who is the publisher of the Herald, that the Herald is entitled to use the Allah word and that the word is not exclusive to Islam.
They further argued that the applicant cannot apply its private rights to use the word “Allah” in an application for judicial review and that the claim over the use of the word can only be decided by the court after hearing expert evidence.
The church’s lawyers pointed out that the hearing is just at the preliminary stage and this will be argued at the substantive stage subsequently.
Federal Counsel also argued that the Archbishop’s application for leave to seek an Order of Certiorari is irregular as it should have been the main application and not subsequently to other reliefs sought.
Counsel for the church argued that the sequencing of the application is inconsequential and has no effect on their application.
On the third relief sought to stay the order of the respondents, Federal Counsel argued that Justice Lau had previously declined to make such stay orders and therefore, should not award it in this case. The applicant’s lawyers decided not to ask for this order but maintained that they are not withdrawing the application for a stay and may re-apply for it whenever needed. Judgment is reserved for Monday (5 May).

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