Pas gets greenlight to table Hudud bill


(NST) – Pas can now proceed with the tabling of a Private Member’s Bill in Parliament that seeks to enable Kelantan to implement its Hudud law.

Senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan said the Islamist party’s president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang can go ahead with the tabling following today’s High Court dismissal of a suit that sought to halt the move.

Shamsul appeared for co-defendants Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia and his three deputies, whom with main defendant Hadi were sued by plaintiff Mansoor Saat and three others.

Hadi’s counsel Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said Judge Datuk Asmabi Mohamad allowed his client’s bid to strike out the suit as the four plaintiffs had no right or “locus standi” to even initiate the legal action.

Takiyuddin said nothing in the court documents showed whether the four plaintiffs – Mansoor, Azira Aziz, Hasbeemaputra Abu Bakar and Hazwany Jamaluddin – are voters or supporters of Pakatan Rakyat, who could potentially be affected by the Bill-tabling.

“The court found the suit premature, academic, theoretical and presumptuous as the thing has not even happened,” said Takiyuddin in reference to Hadi’s Bill – which seeks to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 – having not even been debated during the current ongoing Dewan Rakyat session.

Pas had sought the amendment in order to expand the powers of the Kelantan Syariah courts to pass judgments in cases linked to the state’s Hudud law, which was passed by the state legislature on March 19.

On that date, the Kelantan legislature passed the Syariah Criminal Code II 1993 (Amendment 2015) to enable the implementation of Pas’ Hudud law in the state.

However the state is still hobbled by the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act, which limits state Syariah courts to handing out sentences not exceeding three years’ jail, RM5,000 fine, or six strokes of the rotan.

Today Takiyuddin said the High Court ruled that Hadi – as Marang Member of Parliament – had abided by proper Parliamentary laws and rules such as the Dewan Rakyat Standing Order 49 when he tabled the Bill.

“According to the Government Proceedings Act 1956, the court cannot allow injunctions (restraining order) against government officials,” said Takiyuddin in reference to co-defendants Parliament Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia and his three deputies – Datuk Ismail Mohamed Said, Datuk Ronald Kiandee and Datuk Roosme Hamzah.

Takiyuddin said the court also found the four plaintiffs’ mode of initiating the legal action was wrong as they should have begun it as a judicial review rather than the present originating summons suit.

“The court found the action (suit) was an abuse of court process,” said Takiyuddin, adding that the court dismissed the suit with no order to cost. Counsel Farez Jinnah – who acted for Mansoor, Azira, Hasbeemaputra and Hazwany – said he would seek further instructions from his clients on the next course of action.

In early June, Mansoor and the three plaintiffs filed the constitutional challenge against Hadi’s attempt to table the Bill that sought to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act.

Hadi filed the striking-out application – supported by Pandikar Amin, Ismail, Ronald, and Roosme – on July 2.