Teen citizenship appeal delayed as lawyer seeks more time for study

Malaysia-born Navin Moorthy’s lawyer, Annou Xavier, has requested for additional time to conduct research on the Parliament Hansard dating back to January 1962. ― File pic
Malaysia-born Navin Moorthy’s lawyer, Annou Xavier, has requested for additional time to conduct research on the Parliament Hansard dating back to January 1962. ― File pic

PUTRAJAYA, June 16 ― The Court of Appeal today postponed hearing Putrajaya’s appeal against a teen’s bid for citizenship after his lawyer asked for additional time to conduct research.

Malaysia-born Navin Moorthy’s lawyer, Annou Xavier, requested the three-man branch led by Datuk Abdul Aziz Abd Rahim to allow him more time to research on the Parliament Hansard dating back to January 1962.

Annou claimed that defence minister at time, Tun Abdul Razak, had amended the Article 15 (A) of the Federal Constitution to allow citizenships for those aged below 21, which may aid their case.

Abdul Aziz and his bench of two other judges, Datuk Rohana Yusuf and Dr Prasad Sandosham Abraham allowed the court to adjourn and set July 29 for the next hearing.

Navin, who will turn 17 this year, is fighting to get his citizenship recognised and obtain an IC — a crucial document typically issued to Malaysians at the age of 12.

On January 22 this year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court granted Putrajaya a three-month stay on its previous order in November 25, 2014 to the government to recognise Navin’s citizenship and issue him an IC. This order expired today.

In December 2013, Navin had through his father Moorthy Ramiah Pillai filed a civil suit against the director-general of the National Registration Department (NRD), the Home Ministry that oversees the NRD, and the federal government over his citizenship status.

In his submissions, the teenager claimed that he was initially issued a birth certificate that listed him as a citizen when he was born on July 8, 1998, but found that his status was later changed to “Bukan Warganegara” or non-citizen.

Navin, who was born to a Malaysian father and Filipino mother, is also listed as a citizen in his Malaysian passport issued by the Immigration Department.

His businessman father, Moorthy, had applied twice with the NRD for his son’s citizenship, but claims that both applications were rejected by the Home Ministry.

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