Monday 6 August 2012

Borders wins stay against Jawi over Irshad Manji books

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 6 — Berjaya Books Sdn Bhd, the owner of Borders bookstores, and two others obtained an order from the Court of Appeal here today to temporarily stay Federal Territory Islamic Religious Department’s (Jawi) further action over the seizure of Irshad Manji’s controversial books from one of its outlets.

The interim stay order was unanimously granted by a three-member panel led by Justice Datuk Abdul Malik Ishak, until the disposal of the appeal brought by Berjaya Books and the other two applicants to the Court of Appeal against the High Court’s refusal to grant them a stay order.

Abdul Malik also ordered the applicants to expeditiously prepare the record of appeal to secure an early hearing date for their appeal.

Justices Datuk Azahar Mohamed and Datuk Balia Yusof Wahi were the other two judges presiding on the panel.

The stay application was made by Berjaya Books, Borders general manager of operations and merchandising Stephen Fung Wye Keong, and its store manager at The Gardens in Mid Valley City, Nik Raina Nik Abdul Aziz.

The panel granted them an interim stay on any action by Jawi, including searching and seizing of the publications at their premises, examining their staff and the order for their staff to attend to give evidence under the Syariah Criminal Procedure Act.

They also obtained an interim stay against any action by Jawi relating to the arrest and further action and decision with regard to Nik Raina’s prosecution, as well other staff of Berjaya Books.

On June 25, this year, Berjaya Books and its two employees — Fung and Nik Raina — obtained leave from the high court to initiate a judicial review proceeding to challenge Jawi’s conduct in seizing the books.

The trio are seeking, among others, a certiorari order to quash the decision by Jawi officers in raiding, searching and seizing Irshad Manji’s books, “Allah, Kebebasan dan Cinta” and “Allah, Liberty and Love” on May 23, this year at the Borders bookstore in The Gardens in Mid Valley City.

They also want a certiorari order to quash a decision to prosecute Nik Raina at the Syariah High Court for distributing the books. — Bernama

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