The Kuala Lumpur Shariah Court of Appeal today heard an application filed by Sarawak business entrepreneur Datuk Seri Mahmud Abu Bekir Taib to set aside a court of appeal application by his former wife Shahnaz Abdul Majid as her submission lacked jurisdiction.
Shahnaz was initially granted an order for discovery on 9 May 2011 by the Kuala Lumpur Shariah High Court. However, it was overturned by the Shariah Appeals Court on 6 March 2013 on the grounds among others that burden of proof laid on her shoulders to prove the acquisition of assets by her former husband.
She later filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal but later today she withdrew her appeal after Datuk Seri Mahmud filed objections against her appeal.
As a result, the Court of Appeal granted leave for her to withdraw and slapped Shahnaz with costs of RM2,000.
The Court of Appeal had also today disagreed with Shahnaz’s unilateral application to extend her filing of another appeal. Instead, the court instructed the application to be heard in the presence of both parties as opposed to an ex parte application.
Shahnaz had applied to discover the assets of her former husband in her quest for a matrimonial assets division claim (harta sepencarian) initially amounting to RM300 million which she subsequently raised to RM521 million, a jump of 73 per cent.
The multi million Ringgit demands have made it one of the most contentious divorce claims, one in which no precedent had been set in a Shariah court in the country. Datuk Seri Mahmud is defending the claims vigorously.
When asked what led to his separation and ultimately, his divorce, Datuk Seri Mahmud had testified that there had been no common understanding and no compromise by his former wife. The husband-and-wife relationship deteriorated.
As a result they lived separately in different rooms and consequently in different residences for 12 years 4 months before divorcing in 2011.
Presiding at the Kuala Lumpur Shariah Appeals Court today were Datuk Seri Dr Md Yusup bin Che Teh, Datuk Yusof bin Musa and Mohd Amran bin Mat Zain.
Shariah lawyers Datuk Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar and Saadiah Din appeared for Datuk Seri Mahmud while lawyers Mohd Rafie Mohd Shafie and Datuk Akberdin bin Haji Abdul Kader acted for Shahnaz.