High Court to deliver decision on constituencies on Sept 29

(The Star) KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has set Sept 29 to deliver its decision on an application by former Perak speaker V. Sivakumar and six others to compel the Election Commission (EC) to hold by-elections in three of the state’s constituencies.

High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Justice Lau Bee Lan set the date in her chambers after hearing submissions from both parties yesterday.

Lead counsel Datuk S. Ambiga and lawyer Ranjit Singh submitted on behalf of Sivakumar and six others while Senior Federal Counsels Datuk Kamaludin Md Said and Suzana Atan represented the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

Kamaludin submitted that the application has become academic after the Federal Court declared on April 9 that the EC has the right to decide the status of the three state seats and the respective assemblymen.

The three are Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang), Mohd Osman Mohd Jailu (Changkat Jering) and Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang).

Kamaludin argued that the apex court’s ruling had endorsed that the state seats did not became vacant just because the speaker had accepted resignation letters purportedly from the assemblymen.

He said the speaker’s action of declaring the state seats vacant was unlawful and therefore null and void as it did not fall within his power to do so and was contrary to the Perak Constitution.

Furthermore, he said the applicants lacked the locus standi to initiate the legal action.

He said the application was frivolous, vexatious and misconceived.

However, Ambiga submitted that the application was not academic because the Federal Court’s decision was subject to this case on rationality and correctness of the EC’s decision.

“The commission has failed to state what is the basis and procedure it had adopted in arising to the conclusion,” added Ambiga.

Sivakumar and six others are applying to the court to declare the Behrang, Changkat Jering and Jelapang seats vacant and for an injunction to stop Jamaluddin, Mohd Osman and Hee from representing themselves as assemblymen.