Medan Religious Court Decision No. 1814 of 2013: Shari'a Economy Dispute

The plaintiffs submitted that, in April 2013, the second defendant (employee of PT. Bank SUMUT (first defendant)), via the third defendant, had told Muhammad Erwin (third plaintiff) that he would be released from his financial obligations under his current home loan if he could find a new purchaser for a separate property in the name of Walidi (Walidi property). The third plaintiff alleged that the third defendant had obtained this information from the second defendant because the second defendant and the first defendant's audit team had encountered an irregularity vis-a-vis the Walidi property.

Based on the second defendant's request (via the third defendant), the plaintiff instructed the third defendant to undertake to find a new purchaser for the Walidi property. The third plaintiff and third defendant visited the first plaintiff (Jaka Mulia Damanik) at his home, and asked if the first plaintiff would like to become the new purchaser of the Walidi property. The first plaintiff agreed to do so on the condition that the third plaintiff would loan him IDR 20 million for a separate project. The third plaintiff agreed to do so once the first defendant had released him from his financial obligations pursuant to his own home loan.

On 29 April 2013, at the office of the second defendant, prior to the first plaintiff signing the agreement to purchase the Walidi property, the third defendant encountered the third plaintiff. The third plaintiff was at the second defendant's office to loan to the first plaintiff the IDR 20 million. The third defendant believed this loan money was the down-payment for the purchase of the Walidi property, and, accordingly, told the third plaintiff that the money would be returned that day after the first plaintiff had signed his purchase agreement for the Walidi property. After receiving the money, the third defendant departed quickly, failing to provide the third plaintiff with a receipt for the money. The third plaintiff assumed that the third defendant worked for the first defendant, and that the money would be returned that day upon execution of the Walidi property agreement.

The third defendant allegedly told the third plaintiff that the IDR 20 million, requested by the third defendant for, and on behalf of, the first plaintiff, was a down-payment on the Walidi property agreement. The third defendant also instructed the third plaintiff that it be returned immediately, and that there would be a new purchaser for the Walidi property within the next two months.

On 29 April 2013, after the first plaintiff signed the agreement, transferring ownership of the property from Walidi to the first plaintiff, the first plaintiff was asked by the third defendant to sign a blank withdrawal form. The first defendant, however, did not receive a carbon copy of the withdrawal form. The third plaintiff also sought to recoup his IDR 20 million from the third defendant, but was told by the third defendant to wait two months until there was a new purchaser for the Walidi property. The IDR 20 million had still not been returned by the time the plaintiffs filed their application with the court.

Also on 29 April 2013, the plaintiffs submitted that the first defendant debited the first plaintiff IDR 256 million, without his prior knowledge. The first defendant also credited the first plaintiff with IDR 50 million for overbooking, the defendants claiming that the IDR 50 million designated to pay for objects required by the developer had to originate from the first plaintiff's personal account. The first plaintiff claimed this to be fraudulent on the part of the first defendant.

Ten days after the agreement had been executed, the first plaintiff sought to enforce his agreement with the third plaintiff for IDR 20 million. On Friday 10 May 2013, the third plaintiff transferred IDR 20 million to the first plaintiff's bank account.

On 31 May 2013, the first plaintiff paid to the first defendant the first instalment (IDR 2,445,553). The first and second defendants then sought to recoup the arrears they claimed were owing pursuant to the agreement by sending someone to the first plaintiff's home, as well as by contacting the first plaintiff by telephone, and sending him two written reminders. Then, on 22 October 2013, the second defendant, with a work colleague, attended the first plaintiff's home, directing at the first plaintiff angry and threatening language.

The first and third plaintiffs sought IDR 1.761 billion in damages. In addition, they requested that the court find the agreement transferring the Walidi property to the first plaintiff fraudulent and invalid, and that the defendants pay costs.

The court found that the plaintiffs' statement of claim contained two irregularities:

  1. it referred to all three plaintiffs as the plaintiff, failing to separate them as first, second and third plaintiffs; and
  2. it incorrectly included the third defendant as a party, despite the parties to the agreement being Jaka Mulia Damanik (first plaintiff) and the first and second defendants.

The court also found that it was precluded on jurisdictional grounds from adjudicating the case, and that the appropriate forum was in fact the Tebing Tinggi Religious Court. Accordingly, it dismissed the case and ordered the plaintiffs to pay costs.

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