The Federal Court, which is hearing the review bid of the Archbishop of the Roman Catholic Church, today dismissed the church's application for an enlarged bench of either seven or nine judges.
The archbishop;s legal team head Cyrus Das said it was not appropriate for a five-member bench to review decision of the previous panel, which consisted of seven judges.
"This is to avoid public perception which they may have as this is a public interest case. Any review should be done by a larger panel," he said.
However, Federal Court judge Abdull Hamid Embong, who is leading the five-member all Muslim panel to hear the review, dismissed the application, saying Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria had rejected the church's application yesterday.
"This panel cannot go against the CJ who is empowered to form the panel to hear a case.
"Furthermore, your complaint is on the majority judgment which is made by four judges. Hence, this panel of five judges is equipped to hear this application," Justice Abdull Hamid said.
The court is now hearing the review submission by Cyrus. The Catholic Church is appealing against the Court of Appeal’s decision not to allow its organ the Herald to use ‘Allah’ to refer to God in its Bahasa Malaysia section.