Administrative & Constitutional Law Litigation

A brief overview of significant disputes Surendra was involved in is set out below. A full list of reported decisions is available on request.


  • Lead counsel in a High Court case where the court declared that a person is not a Muslim as she was converted when she was a minor in contravention of certain written laws (Dahlia Dhaima bt Abdullah v Majlis Agama Islam Selangor & Anor [2022] 9 MLJ 372).
  • Co-counsel in a landmark Federal Court decision where the court struck down an Islamic law provision granting the Selangor Syariah High Court judicial review powers (SIS Forum (Malaysia) v Kerajaan Negeri Selangor [2022] 3 CLJ 339).
  • Co-counsel in a Court of Appeal decision on an extension of time given by the Minister under the Housing Development (Control and Licensing) Regulations 1989 (Bludream City Development Sdn Bhd v Kong Thye & Ors and other appeals [2022] 2 MLJ 241).
  • Lead counsel in two successful citizenship applications in the High Court where the court declared three children as citizens by operation of law.
  • Co-counsel in a landmark Federal Court decision where the Islamic law provision prohibiting unnatural sex in Selangor was declared unconstitutional (Iki Putra Mubarak v Kerajaan Negeri Selangor [2021] 3 CLJ 465).
  • Co-counsel for Datuk Sundra Rajoo in a groundbreaking Federal Court decision concerning diplomatic immunity and the prosecutorial powers of the Attorney-General. The court held that the Attorney-General’s decision to prosecute is amenable to judicial review (Sundra Rajoo Nadarajah v Menteri Luar Negeri & Ors [2021] 6 CLJ 199).
  • Currently acting for the Penang State Legislative Assembly and the Speaker in a challenge on the constitutionality of Article 14A of the Penang Constitution, a law to address party-hopping.
  • Co-counsel in the Federal Court decision concerning the insertion of the words “bin Abdullah” in the birth certificate of a Muslim illegitimate child (Jabatan Pendaftaran Negara & Ors v Seorang Kanak-Kanak & Ors [2020] 4 CLJ 731).
  • Lead counsel for SIS Forum (Malaysia) in a challenge against a fatwa issued by the Selangor Fatwa Committee declaring liberalism and pluralism as deviant practices (Sis Forum (Malaysia) & Ors V. Jawatankuasa Fatwa Negeri Selangor & Ors [2018] 6 CLJ 748).
  • Co-counsel for Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd in contempt proceedings initiated by the Attorney-General against the news portal for comments made on an article by third parties (Peguam Negara Malaysia v Mkini Dotcom Sdn Bhd [2021] 3 CLJ 603).
  • Lead counsel for M Kula Segaran in a challenge against the re-delineation exercise by the Election Commission for the state of Perak (M Kula Segaran & Satu Lagi Lwn. Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya Malaysia & Yang Lain [2018] 5 CLJ 547).
  • Co-counsel for Maria Chin with Dato Ambiga Sreenevasan in a challenge concerning local hearings in a re-delineation exercise by the Election Commission (Maria Chin Abdullah & Ors V. Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya Malaysia & Ors[2018] 1 LNS 779).
  • Lead counsel for Nurul Izzah in a challenge against the re-delineation exercise by the Election Commission for Kuala Lumpur (Peguam Negara Malaysia V. Nurul Izzah Anwar & Ors [2017] 5 CLJ 595).
  • Co-counsel in a landmark Federal Court decision concerning the interpretation of legislative fields in the Federal Constitution (Gin Poh Holdings Sdn Bhd V. The Government Of The State Of Penang & Ors [2018] 4 CLJ 1).
  • Co-counsel for Indira Gandhi in a landmark Federal Court decision concerning the power of judicial review as a basic structure of the Federal Constitution (Indira Gandhi Mutho V. Pengarah Jabatan Agama Islam Perak & Ors And Other Appeals[2018] 3 CLJ 145).
  • Member of the legal team that represented the Malaysian Bar Council in a challenge against the former Attorney-General in refusing to charge the former Prime Minister for wrongdoings concerning 1MDB.
  • Co-counsel for Ezra Zaid in a challenge against his prosecution in the Shariah Court for the publication of the book entitled “Allah, Liberty and Love” authored by Irshad Manji (Zi Publications Sdn Bhd & Anor V. Jabatan Agama Islam Selangor & Ors [2018] 6 CLJ 364).
  • Lead counsel for students from University Malaya and the National University Malaysia in their challenge against disciplinary proceedings initiated by the universities.
  • Lead counsel for a renowned civil society group, G25, in a challenge against a book on Islam and Moderation published by the group.
  • Co-counsel in a complex judicial review application involving a novel point of law on whether governmental contracts are amenable to judicial review (Dhaya Maju LTAT Sdn Bhd v Kerajaan Malaysia & Anor [2021] 1 LNS 997).
  • Counsel for condominium unit proprietor in a challenge against the decision of the Strata Management Tribunal concerning the interpretation of a “common façade” (Lokanath a/l Ramanath v Tribunal Pengurusan Strata & Anor [2020] 8 MLJ 721).
  • Co-counsel in proceedings to obtain important information on the proposed re-delineation exercise and the status of the right to information under the Federal Constitution (Haris Fatillah bin Mohd Ibrahim v Suruhanjaya Pilihan Raya Malaysia [2017] 3 MLJ 543).


Other Practice Areas

Surendra Ananth lawyer