Lawyer: Muslim parents can question ‘illegitimate child’ ruling
KUALA LUMPUR: Muslim parents have the right to challenge the National Registration Department's (NRD) decision not to record the father's name if the child is born less than six months after their marriage, said civil law and syariah law practitioner Nizam Bashir.
“As long as they have been affected, any one of them can challenge the constitutionality of that decision,” he said.
He said the NRD practice contravened Articles 5 and 8 of the Federal Constitution, which gave a child the right to life, privacy, identity to equal treatment under the law and to non-discrimination.
He said this when asked how parents of an “illegitimate” child or the said child could act on the suggestion by Perlis Mufti Dr Juanda Jaya at the “What's in a name” forum on Saturday to challenge the NRD.
“The NRD puts Section 13 (of the Registration of Births and Deaths Act) in the birth certificate of an illegitimate child,” he said yesterday.
“This is discrimination because anyone seeing that reference will know the child is illegitimate.”
Nizam, who was also a panellist at the forum, argued that the fundamental liberties of a person remained supreme regardless of whether he or she were Muslim or not.
There are over 234,000 children who have “no-information” written in the space for their father's name in their birth certificate. Of them, some 85,000 are Muslims.
Asked how a child or mother could pursue such a legal action and maintain their privacy, Nizam said they could apply to the court to use a letter or the name John/Jane Doe.
In 1994, The Star had reported on then High Court Justice Visu Sinnadurai's decision in a case listed as Re M (an infant); Natural Parents vs Adoptive Parents (Mr and Mrs A).
On whether there was legal aid to file such cases, Nizam said the National Legal Aid Foundation only applied to criminal matters but there were some lawyers like himself who would take pro bono cases.
Sisters In Islam programme manager Suri Kempe said affected parents could call their Telenisa line at 03-7784 3733 for referrals.
Malaysian Bar president Lim Chee Wee said one can contact Vilashini Vijayan at 03-2050 2095 or firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
Lawyer2 in da hausss
This post has been edited by Chechack: Feb 28 2012, 07:57 AM
Anak itu tidak berdosa,kasilah peluang