High Court rejects Mais' application as intervenor in seized Allah CDs case

KHAIRAH N. KARIM

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here dismissed Selangor Religious Council (Mais)’ application to be an intervenor in Sarawakian clerk Jill Ireland Lawrence Bill's judicial review over the authorities’ seizure of her eight 'Allah' CDs.

In her judgement in chambers today, judge Datuk Nor Bee Ariffin ruled that the application does not fall under direct interest.

Mais' counsel Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said the court, however, allowed an application to make Mais an amicus curiae (impartial adviser).

"(It is) for us to verify if there has been any proper Islamic scholarly opinion that has been filed on the use of the word Allah (by non-Muslims)," Haniff said, adding that Mais will assist Islamic scholars in providing their views on the matter.

He added that the court has fixed June 19 for the proper hearing of the judicial review and set March 30 for case management before the matter goes for a hearing.

Lim Heng Seng and Annu Xavier are Jill’s counsel.

On May 11, 2008, the CDs titled ‘Cara Hidup Dalam Kerajaan Allah’, ‘Hidup Benar Dalam Kerajaan Allah’ and ‘Ibadah Yang Benar Dalam Kerajaan Allah’, were seized by Customs officers from Jill, a Christian of Melanau descent, on her arrival at the Low-Cost Carrier Terminal (LCCT) in Sepang.

She filed a judicial review application on Aug 20, 2008, to reclaim the eight CDs, naming the Home Ministry and government as respondents.

On July 21, 2014, the High Court ordered the Home Ministry to return the CDs to Jill, but did not issue a Declaration she had applied for, that she had the right to keep, use and import published materials containing the word ‘Allah’.

On June 23 last year, the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s decision for the Home Ministry to return the eight CDs to Jill within one month of the ruling date.

The panel also remitted Jill’s application for the Declaration to the High Court.