Bar Council files suit against police, govt for stopping anti-Najib protest

(Bernama) – The Malaysian Bar Council has filed a lawsuit against the Royal Malaysia Police (PDRM), the Malaysian government, and several other parties for allegedly obstructing the assembly and march for judicial independence (Walk for Judicial Independence) in June.

The assembly and march were to protest the actions of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) which publicly announced an investigation into a Court of Appeal judge (Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali – pic above), which was considered an interference with the judiciary’s independence and a violation of the basic principle of separation of powers.

Bar Council president Karen Cheah Yee Lynn, 54, vice-president Mohamed Ezri Abdul Wahab, 52, secretary B. Anand Raj, 50 and treasurer Murshidah Mustafa, 52, as the first to fifth plaintiffs filed the suit through Messrs AmerBON at the High Court here on Oct 20, and the case is set for case management on Jan 12, 2023, before Deputy Registrar Nor Afidah Idris.

In the suit, all plaintiffs named Dang Wangi district police chief ACP Noor Dellhan Yahaya, it’s head of Criminal Investigations Department DSP Nuzulan Mohd Din, PDRM, Inspector-General of Police, the Home Minister and the Malaysian government as the first to sixth defendants.

In the statement of claim, the plaintiffs claimed that all the defendants had violated their rights under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 (APA 2012) by preventing them and their 500 members and interns from holding a rally at the Padang Merbok parking lot, Jalan Parlimen to the main entrance of Parliament building on June 17, 2022, from 7.45 am until 10 am to submit a memorandum to then Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob or his representative.

All the plaintiffs claimed that the defendants had committed misconduct in public office (misfeasance) by arresting them wrongly, causing them to lose their freedom and damage their reputation due to wrongful arrest in addition to a loss of RM19,449 for the Bar Council for the cost incurred for the march.

The plaintiffs are demanding special damages amounting to RM19,449, general damages, and excessive and exemplary costs in addition to seeking a declaration that the plaintiff’s rights have been violated and a declaration that their detention was illegal and wrong in law.