A senior federal counsel told the Federal Court today that it should adopt the decision from the case of R Subashini vs T Saravanan in defining the definition of "parent" in the Federal Constitution to mean singular.
Counsel Arik Sanusi Yeop Johari, who was representing the Education Ministry, further showed the definition of "parent" according to four English dictionaries to mean a single parent, and parents to show plural in the dictionaries.
He was trying to prove the point on the third question of law in the M Indira Gandhi vs K Pathmanathan @ Mohd Ridhuan Abdullah's case today, that the apex court should accept the definition of "parent" within the constitution to mean singular.
The third question posed to this court was:
- Whether the mother and father (if both are still surviving) of a child of a civil marriage must consent before a certificate of conversion to Islam can be issued in respect of the child.
Arik Sanusi, who is the director of the syariah section of the Attorney-General's Chambers also told the five-member bench that the subject matter in this case concerned Islamic law and Muslims and for this matter, the civil court had no jurisdiction.
Indira Gandhi, a kindergarten teacher, is seeking determination from the highest civil court in the country, whether the unilateral conversion of her three minor children in 2009 by her former husband was lawful following the certificate of conversion issued by the Perak's Registrar of Muallaf.
It was reported that a bill containing the amendments to the Law Reform (Marriage and Divorce) Act was tabled in Parliament last week, to prevent unilateral conversion, where children from a civil marriage would require consent from both parents if the child was converted.
[More to follow]-Mkini