For the fourth time, court acquits PKR’s Nik Nazmi of same assembly law charge


(MMO) – A High Court here acquitted today PKR’s Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad for a “record” fourth time of the same offence under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012, a decision his lawyer hoped will mark the end of the matter.

Citing the doctrine of binding precedent, Shah Alam High Court Datuk Abdul Halim Aman said that he was bound by the ruling of a higher court that had acquitted the PKR politician.

“The High Court is not competent to revise, revisit or change the court order that was issued by the Court of Appeal,” he said when reading out the grounds of his judgment.

In a landmark decision on April 25, the Court of Appeal had acquitted Nik Nazmi after ruling that it was unconstitutional to criminalise spontaneous public assemblies in breach of the 10-day notice required under Section 9 (1) of the legislation.

The three-person bench said on April 25 that Section 9 (5) of the PAA ― which imposes a maximum RM10,000 fine for non-compliance ― ran counter to the Federal Constitution and must be struck out.

Despite the acquittal, the Attorney-General’s Chambers attempted on May 6 to charge Nik Nazmi for the second time for the same offence, but the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court struck out the bid. Another acquittal by the same court was also granted the same month.

When met outside the courtroom, Nik Nazmi’s lawyer, N. Surendran, told reporters said he believed the quadruple acquittal for the same offence is a “record” in Malaysia.

“That means a person us being recharged again and acquitted for the fourth time. I hope there will not have to be a fifth time or sixth time. I hope this will be the end of it,” he said.

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