By Deborah Loh, The Nut Graph
The non-Muslim family members of Mohan Singh a/l Janot Singh cannot be a party to the dispute over his body as the core issue of his religious status at the time of death can only be determined by the Syariah Court, the High Court here heard.
Lawyer for the Selangor Islamic Council (Mais), Hanif Khatri Abdullah, said only “in the event” that the Syariah Court determines Mohan as non-Muslim at death, would his family members have lawful claim over his body.
“The argument of the applicants that they cannot be made a party in the Syariah Court is a non-starter … the applicants do not have locus to be a lawful party on this issue,” Hanif said in his submissions to the court which began hearing arguments on jurisdiction on Friday, 19 June. The court will also continue hearing submissions tomorrow.
Hanif’s submission was adopted in total by the federal government and the Selangor government which are also respondents in the judicial review filed by Mohan’s family, who are all Sikh.
The federal government is represented by senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan and the Selangor government by deputy state legal adviser Md Azhari Abu Hanit.
Mohan’s body is still being held at the Sungai Buloh Hospital mortuary. His family has filed for a judicial review on the hospital’s refusal to release his body to them for burial. The case is being heard by judge Rosnaini Saub.
Besides Mais, and the federal and Selangor governments, Mohan’s family have also named as respondents, the Health Ministry director-general, the Sungai Buloh Hospital director-general, and the Malaysian Consultative Council for Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Sikhism and Taoism.
Film director Mohan, who died of a heart attack on 25 May, had allegedly converted to Islam on 11 Aug 1992.