KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – The five children of cosmetic millionaire Datuk Sosilawati Lawiya, who was murdered in 2010, yesterday obtained leave from the High Court for a judicial review to compel the National Registration Department (NRD) to issue a death certificate for their late mother.
Judge Datuk Asmabi Mohamad allowed their application for leave after hearing submissions in chambers from counsel Mohd Iskandar Ismail representing the children and senior federal counsel Maisarah Juhari for the NRD.
Mohd Iskandar told reporters that the court fixed Dec 8 for case management. It will set another date to hear the merit of the judicial review.
The children – Erwan Suwari Rizuwan Buhari, 28, Md Erwan Nasri, 27, Erni Erinawati Sofia, 25, Erni Rineelawati, 24, and Siti Nur Fatimah, 17 – filed the application on Sept 24, naming NRD as sole respondent.
They are seeking, among others, an order to quash the NRD’s decision on July 25 not to issue a death certificate for Sosilawati, who was killed in a plantation in Banting, Selangor.
In a letter to NRD, the children stated that they needed the death certificate to enable them to distribute their mother’s estate to the deceased’s next-of-kin.
Erwan Suwari Rizuwan, in a supporting affidavit, claimed that NRD, in an oral explanation, said that a death certificate could not be issued for Sosilawati as no body had been found and, as provided under Section 18 of the Births and Deaths Registration Act 1957, that if no body was found, the person would be assumed to be missing.
He said because of that NRD said Section 108 of the Evidence Act would be applicable whereby if a person could not be found or contacted after seven years he or she could be regarded as dead and a declaration of death could be made.
However, Erwan Suwari Rizuwan said there were special circumstances in his mother’s case as the court could declare her dead based on the testimony and evidence brought up in her murder trial, even if her body was not found and the seven-year period had not passed.
The NRD, in a letter dated July 25, 2014 to Sosilawati’s family, stated that the registration of Sosilawati’s death could only be considered after the disposal of the appeal case of the four accused in her murder by the Court of Appeal.
The Court of Appeal has fixed five days from Feb 5, 2015 to hear the appeal.