KOTA BARU: The Syariah High Court has rejected the divorce pronouncement of former Kelantan Sultan Ismail Petra on his second wife, Cik Puan Elia Suhana Ahmad, filed by Datin Nik Rorhana Wan Abdul Rahman.
Judge Abdullah Man ruled that the plaintiff had failed to have the required number of witnesses to support her application and that he himself was the only one present at an audience with the Sultan at Istana Mahkota in Kubang Kerian on Oct 30 last year to talk about the pronouncement.
“The court decision is based on three questions. First, whether a third party may apply for approval of a divorce pronouncement; whether the plaintiff had enough witnesses; and third, whether what occurred between the Sultan and me could be accepted in court,” he said.
“Based on this, the court rejects the application of the plaintiff (Nik Rorhana) for approval of the pronouncement, and the plaintiff may appeal the decision within 14 days,” he said.
Nik Rorhana was present at yesterday’s proceedings while the 31-year-old defendant, Cik Puan Elia Suhana, was not due to illness.
On March 21 last year, Cik Puan Elia Suhana – through counsel Fakhrul Azman Abu Hassan – requested that the application to validate the pronouncement be cancelled.
Sultan Ismail Petra, who was still Kelantan Ruler then, was alleged to have made the divorce pronouncement on Feb 12 before several witnesses while he was being treated at the Mount Elizabeth Hospital in Singapore.
Abdullah said Nik Rorhana had the right to file the application seeking court approval of the pronouncement.
However, she did not produce enough qualified witnesses.
The court was satisfied with the explanation of the doctor she presented as a witness. But it found the explanation of the second person she presented as inadequate for a witness.
Abdullah said Sultan Ismail Petra only allowed one judge to interview him on the divorce pronouncement.
“If I were to be a witness in the meeting, who then would be the judge? And a judge cannot be a witness,” he said.
Fakhrul Azman told reporters that the court’s decision meant the Sultan and Cik Puan Elia Suhana were still husband and wife.
Nik Rorhana’s counsel Zainul Rijal Abu Bakar said he would consult his client on whether to appeal the decision. — Bernama