In a setback to the family of a Sikh art director, who allegedly converted to Islam 17 years ago, Malaysia's Shariah court has ruled that he was a Muslim at the time of his death in May and his body should be buried according to Islamic rites. Shariah High Court judge Justice Mohamad Khalid Shaee on Thursday ruled that Mohan Singh's conversion was valid after hearing testimony from five witnesses and examining the documents brought before the court. He issued the order in his chambers, allowing the application by the Selangor Islamic Religious Council (Mais), to handle the funeral of the deceased. The judge also ordered the Sungai Buloh Hospital to hand over Mohan Singh's body to Mais. The council had claimed that Singh converted to Islam in 1992 in Penang and had changed his name to Mohammad Hazzerry Shah Mohan Abdullah. However, the deceased's family claimed that the art director, who died of a heart attack, had neither converted nor practised Islam, adding that he practised only Sikhism and performed the last rites according to Sikh rites for his late mother three years ago. The family of Mohan Singh wants to cremate the body according to Sikh rites while the Islamic council wants to bury him according to Muslim rituals. The department had filed a case in the Shariah court while Singh's family members on Wednesday have filed a case at the high court. Their application will be heard at the Civil High Court on June 16. The civil court had granted an interim order not to allow the hospital to release the body to any other party pending the disposal of the case. The plaintiff's counsel Rajesh Kumar said they would wait for the civil court's decision as they were not bound by the Shariah court's ruling.