By Lisa J. Ariffin
KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 19 ― The Syariah High Court here today postponed the case of Berjaya Books Sdn Bhd on the distribution of the banned “Allah, Liberty and Love” book pending the disposal of a judicial review of the matter by the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
Syariah High Court judge Abdul Walid Abu Hassan today fixed January 21, 2013 for mention to allow for the decision by High Court Judge Datuk Rohana Yusuf on October 22.
Abdul Walid also said the application for a stay filed by lead counsel for Berjaya Books, Rosli Dahlan, was unnecessary.
“For now, we will postpone the case pending the decision by the Civil Court,” Abdul Walid said today.
“I will not grant stay to this proceeding, and am only postponing the case,” he added.
When met outside court, Rosli told reporters “the rightful court [to try this matter] is the Civil Court”.
The lawyer further said he did not understand why the authorities were pursuing the matter under the Syariah system and creating what he described as a “conflict of laws”.
“Why put strain on the courts and on the system?” he asked.
In June, the High Court here granted Berjaya Books leave for judicial review of the Federal Territories Religious Department’s (JAWI) seizure of the books by controversial author Irshad Manji before a ban was instituted by the Home Ministry.
The three respondents in the judicial review are the home minister, the minister in the Prime Minister’s office in charge of Religious Affairs and JAWI.
The applicants for the judicial review are Berjaya, Borders general manager of operations and merchandising Stephen Fung Wye Keong, and store manager for the Borders Mid Valley branch Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz.