|Borders granted stay order|
|Tuesday, 07 August 2012 08:24am|
©The Star (Used by permission)
by QISHIN TARIQ
PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has allowed an application by Bor-ders bookstores owner and two of its employees for a stay of further action by the Federal Territory Islamic Department (Jawi) over the seizure of Irshad Manji’s controversial book.
The stay will stop Jawi from taking any further action, including searching and seizing the publication, probing of Borders’ employees and all subsequent proceedings, until the disposal of an appeal against the High Court’s decision.
A three-man panel headed by Justice Abdul Malik Ishak came to the unanimous decision after hearing submissions from both parties here yesterday.
Justice Abdul Malik also allowed for an application to stay prosecution proceedings in the Syariah Court against Berjaya Books store manager Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz, whose case was scheduled for mention today.
The application for the stay was put in by Berjaya Books Sdn Bhd, Borders general manager of operations and merchandising Stephen Fung Wye Keong and Nik Raina.
On July 31, the Kuala Lumpur High Court denied their bid to get a stay in Jawi’s action pending a judicial review to challenge the book seizure.
Their counsel Rosli Dahlan said the stay application was to maintain the status quo so that no action would be taken against his clients until the judicial review was over.
“There are special circumstances to grant a stay – namely undue and bad faith on the part of Jawi. Every time there was action taken on our part, there would be an immediate action on Jawi’s part,” said Rosli.
However, Senior Federal Counsel Effandi Nazila Abdullah argued that the action was within the Syariah Court’s jurisdiction as the matter involved religious issues.
On June 25, Berjaya Books and its two employees had obtained leave for a judicial review from the High Court to challenge the seizure of the book by Jawi.
The three are seeking, among others, a certiorari order to quash the decision by Jawi officers in raiding, searching and seizing Manji’s books, Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta and Allah, Liberty and Love on May 23 at the Borders bookstore in The Gardens Mall, Mid Valley City.
They are also seeking a certiorari order to quash a decision to prosecute Nik Raina at the Syariah High Court for distributing the book.
Nik Raina was charged on June 19 with distributing and selling the book, said to contravene Islamic law, at the bookstore between 8.41pm and 9.45pm on May 23.
The court set Sept 5 for a joint hearing of the two applications for judicial review filed by Berjaya Books and ZI Publication.
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