The Kuala Lumpur Shariah Appeals Court today delivered a unanimous verdict in favour of Sarawak business entrepreneur Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib, turning down the appeal for committal proceedings by his former wife Shahnaz Abdul Majid.
Shahnaz who lost the application at the Shariah High Court, appealed against the decision of the Shariah High Cout and sought to overturn the earlier decision not to commit Mahmud to prison for failing to adhere with the discovery order she obtained.
The appeal judges ruled she had no cause to pursue a case that was already academic in nature. It ruled that a decision handed down by another Shariah Appeals Court in 2013 which set aside the discovery order she unilaterally obtained, Shahnaz lost all rights to pursue the matter anew.
The unanimous verdict was handed down by Chief Shariah Court Judge of Wilayah Persekutuan Datuk Mahammad bin Ibrahim; Chief Shariah Court Judge of Perak Datuk Muhamad Asri bin Abdullah and Shariah Appeals Judge Datuk Yusof bin Musa.
The judges had expressed satisfaction with Mahmud’s arguments as to not adhereing to the order.
Mahmud’s lawyers held that Shahnaz had filed her application under the wrong provision of Section 229 of the Shariah Court Civil Procedure (FT) Act 1988 (Act 585).
It was argued that Shahnaz should have filed their application under the specific provision of Section 151 (1) (aa) of the same Act.
Section 229 clearly states that it can only be invoked exclusively by the court and not by the litigants. Hence, 151 (1) (aa) should have been taken by any party or interested parties to invoke the committal proceedings contended.
Shahnaz was initially granted an order for discovery on 9 May 2011. However, it was overturned by the same court on 6 March 2013.
Shariah lawyers Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar and Saadiah Din had acted for Mahmud while lawyers Mohd Rafie Mohd Shafie and Akberdin bin Haji Abdul Kader had acted for Shahnaz Abdul Majid.
Shahnaz had sought for the discovery of the assets of Mahmud for her RM300 million matrimonial assets division claim. She had also claimed in excess of RM121 million for child maintenance for their son Raden Murya Abdul Taib Mahmud to include a terrace house in London (RM60 million), a residence in Bukit Tunku (RM10 million), two Aston Martins (RM5.5 million), medical insurance (RM5 million) and a private trust fund (RM40 million) to be held and managed by her.
In addition, Shahnaz had also claimed RM100 million for ‘mutaah’ (conciliatory gift).