28 July 2009

Zambri lawan Nizar: Sept 4, Sivakumar's Judicial Review



The Kuala Lumpur High Court has maintained Sept 4 for hearing Perak speaker V Sivakumar's judicial review application to declare vacant the state seats held by three independents who quit Pakatan Rakyat.

This comes after Sivakumar's counsel Razlan Hadri Zulkifli informed Justice Lau Bee Lan in chambers today that lawyer Ranjit Singh, who is also acting for the speaker, submitted an affidavit in court yesterday to support the application and to state that this case was still relevant."Copies of the affidavit were submitted to court and also the Attorney-General's Chambers, which is representing the Election Commission who was also made a party to the legal action," he said.

This was despite the Federal Court's five-member bench ruling on April 9 that the three will remain state representatives as the EC was the rightful body to declare a seat vacant.Razlan Hadri said in the affidavit, the lawyer maintained that it was the speaker who had the powers to determine whether a casual vacancy occurred."This is still a live issue despite what representatives from the AG's Chambers could be contending.

The apex court's decision does not affect this application. We may expect the chambers to give a reply in the coming days."However, Justice Lau agreed to maintain Sept 4 for hearing despite an indication there will be preliminary objections," he said.Representing the EC from the AG's chambers were Senior Federal Counsel Suzana Atan and Andi Razali Jaya.On May 28, Sivakumar's lead counsel Sulaiman Abdullah told the court that the matter was still a live issue as it does not mean that one cannot question EC's decision not to declare a vacancy of the three seats, as he felt the final arbiter to decide such a discrepancy should be the court.
Sivakumar had filed a judicial review application on March 10 in his personal capacity, and named the three Barisan Nasional-friendly independents namely Mohd Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering), Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang) and Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang).On the same day, three Pakatan Rakyat excos A Sivanesan (Sungkai), Tai Sing Ng (Kuala Sepetang) and Chen Fook Chye (Keranji) along with three voters, one each from the constituency of Behrang, Changkat Jering and Jelapang filed a similar application.

The three voters are Ahmad Sabri Wahab, Ahmad Latip Ariffin and Foo Hong Wai representing the three constituencies.All six named Radzi, Osman, Hee and EC as respondents.Sivakumar, in his application, wants to compel the EC to declare the three seats of Behrang, Changkat Jering and Jelapang vacant and call for by-elections to be held.He also asked the three assemblypersons to present authorities to show that they are still elected representatives for their constituencies.

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