Crime & Courts

Couple in unilateral conversion case: Domestic abuse court proceedings postponed

SUNGAI PETANI: The court proceedings involving Loh Siew Hong's former husband Muhammad Nagahswaran Muniandy's domestic abuse charge at the Sessions court here today has been postponed.

At the proceedings before Sessions Court judge Roslan Hamid, deputy public prosecutor Zulfadzly Hassan requested a postponement of the trial scheduled for today and tomorrow, citing the absence of investigation papers from the investigating officer.

No subpoenas have been issued to call witnesses as the prosecution plans to call up to six witnesses, including the victim and her children.

Nagahswaran's lawyer, Khairul Naim Rafidi, did not object to the request, but said his client was ready for the trial today.

Lawyer Dr Shamsher Singh Thind, who is holding a watching brief during the trial, informed the court that the victim was present on her own initiative to testify even though no subpoena had been issued.

The judge fixed July 14 and 15 for mention and instructed the deputy public prosecutor to make the necessary preparations before then.

Nagahswaran was alleged to have committed the offence at a home in Taman Ria, Sungai Petani, in Kedah around noon on March 3, 2019.

He had pleaded not guilty to the domestic violence charges before Roslan.

The charge was filed under Section 326 of the Penal Code, which carries a punishment of up to 20 years in jail and possibly a fine or whipping.

Section 326A specifies that those found guilty of committing the offence against their spouse during their marriage shall face imprisonment for up to twice the term prescribed under Section 326.

The judge set bail at RM10,000 and ordered the accused to avoid any contact with Loh or other witnesses until the case is resolved.

Nagahswaran and Loh's marriage was legally dissolved on Sept 23, 2021.

had taken their children to Perlis where he converted them to Islam without Loh's consent in 2019. Loh challenged the legality of the act.

On Jan 10, the Court of Appeal declared the unilateral conversion as invalid.

The ruling follows Loh's appeal challenging the conversion.

Loh had sought to contest the lower court's decision, which stated that there was no evidence indicating that the three children had ceased practising Islam while under her care.

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