The Federal Court here has set Jan 27 for hearing of an application by the Negeri Sembilan Government and four others to seek leave to appeal against the appellate court’s decision which declared invalid, the state Syariah enactment which criminalises Muslim transgenders for cross-dressing.
PUTRAJAYA, Jan 6 (Bernama) — The Federal Court here has set Jan 27 for hearing of an application by the Negeri Sembilan Government and four others to seek leave to appeal against the appellate court’s decision which declared invalid, the state Syariah enactment which criminalises Muslim transgenders for cross-dressing.
Deputy Registrar of the Federal Court, Khainur Aleeza Ismail fixed the hearing date in chambers when the matter came up before her for case management Tuesday.
Negeri Sembilan Legal Adviser Iskandar Ali Dewa said the Negeri Sembilan Islamic Religious Council, Selangor Islamic Religious Council and the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council would apply to intervene in the matter.
He said the deputy registrar had directed the councils to file their applications within a week’s time.
Lawyer Fakrul Azman Abu Hassan who represented the Negeri Sembilan and Selangor Islamic religious councils said the councils had interest in the matter as its duty was to advise the sultan and also to protect the integrity of the state Syariah laws.
Meanwhile, Iskandar confirmed that senior lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah would be the lead counsel representing the Negeri Sembilan Government in the matter before the Federal Court.
Fakrul said he and lawyer Datuk Sulaiman Abdullah would appear for the councils.
On Nov 7, last year, the Court of Appeal allowed an appeal brought by three Muslim bridal make-up artists — Muhamad Juzaili Mohamad Khamis, 26; Syukor Jani, 28; and, Wan Fairol Wan Ismail, 30 — and declared section 66 of the Negeri Sembilan Syariah Criminal (Negeri Sembilan) Enactment 1992 as invalid and unconstitutional.
A three-member panel chaired by Justice Datuk Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus held that the provision discriminated Muslim men suffering from a medical condition called gender identity disorder (GID).
Mohd Hishamudin said, section 66 which penalised Muslim men who dressed or posed as women in public places, did not provide an exception for GID sufferers but had simply ignored them (GID sufferers) and had unfairly subjected them to the enforcement of the law.
The Court of Appeal overturned a high court’s dismissal of the trio’s judicial review application which rejected their request to declare unconstitutional, section 66.
In their judicial review application, Muhamad Juzaili, Syukor and Wan Fairol had named the Negeri Sembilan Government, Negeri Sembilan Department of Islamic Religious Affairs, its director, Negeri Sembilan Syariah enforcement chief and the Negeri Sembilan Chief Syarie prosecutor as respondents.
Appearing for the trio during the case management was lawyer Aston Paiva.