Court of Appeal dismisses AG appeal over Balkis case

(Bernama) – The Court of Appeal dismissed the Attorney-General’s appeal to set aside a High Court decision to grant leave to the Selangor government and nine others to challenge the legality of the Registrar of Societies’s (ROS) decision to dissolve and deregister Balkis.

Balkis is a welfare and charity organisation of the wives of Selangor assemblymen and MPs.

The decision was pronounced by a three-man panel comprising Justices Datuk Ramly Ali, Datuk Syed Ahmad Helmy Syed Ahmad and Datuk Zaharah Ibrahim on Monday, Feb 7.

Balkis made the headlines after Selangor Menteri Besdar Tan Sri Abdul Khalid Ibrahim alleged that there had been misappropriation of Balkis’ funds under its previous president Datin Seri Zaharah Kechik, the wife of former Selangor menteri besar Datuk Seri Dr Mohamad Khir Toyo.

The Selangor government, Abdul Khalid’s wife Puan Sri Salbiah Tunut, who is the current Balkis president, Permodalan Negeri Selangor Bhd, Kumpulan Darul Ehsan Bhd, the Selangor State Development Corporation and five others had filed the application for leave for a judicial review to quash the ROS decision.

They had named the ROS as the respondent and had sought to have the ROS decision on Feb 11, 2009 in dissolving Balkis to be declared null and void and for an order for the organisation to be reinstated.

Their counsel S. Selvarajah had submitted on Aug 10 2009 at the High Court proceedings for leave to initiate judicial review, that his clients had contributed more than RM6.8 million to Balkis’s funds and that there was a breach of trust when Balkis was wrongly dissolved.

On Aug 10 last year, the appellate court dismissed an application by the plaintiffs to strike out a notice filed by the Attorney-General to appeal against the High Court’s decision on grounds that an improper appellant was named in the notice.

In Monday’s proceedings, the plaintiffs were represented by lawyers Derek J. Fernandez and Selvarajah. Senior federal counsel Suzana Atan appeared for the Attorney-General.