This provision is unduly broad and opens itself up to abuse because it can be liberally interpreted to apply to any behaviour that the religious authorities deem indecent, apparently even retrospectively.
The provision to punish indecency under section 29 also amounts to an unconstitutional trespass on federal powers. The Federal Constitution’s Ninth Schedule, List II, Item 1 provides that State Assemblies have jurisdiction over the “…creation and punishment of offences by persons professing the religion of Islam … except in regard to matters included in the Federal list”.Section 294A of the Penal Code could conceivably cover the offence of indecency as set out in the Syariah Criminal Offences laws. This overlapping of jurisdictions can lead to instances of double jeopardy, violating legal and constitutional principles that no person can be punished twice for the same offence (Article 7(2) of the Federal Constitution).
Sisters in Islam
13 January 2015