Federal government given leave to intervene in Gerakan’s hudud challenge case (18.9.15)

Court Federal Hudud - Andy Yong FB

The Federal Court here today allowed the federal government’s application to intervene in Gerakan’s application for leave to challenge the constitutionality of the Kelantan hudud law.

A five-member panel chaired by Justice Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop allowed the federal government’s application after Gerakan’s counsel Harpal Singh Grewel and the Kelantan state government’s counsel Raja Ahmad Mohzanuddin Shah informed the court that they were not objecting to the application.

Also presiding on the bench were Federal Court judges Datuk Zainun Ali, Datuk Ramly Ali, Datuk Azahar Mohamed and Datuk Zaharah Ibrahim.

Senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan, appearing for the federal government, told the court that the federal government wanted to be made party and take part in Gerakan’s leave application.

The matter subsequently went for case management before the Federal Court’s deputy registrar Khainur Aleeza Ismail after Harpal Singh informed the court that the hearing date, Oct 15 which was earlier fixed by the court to hear Gerakan’s application for leave, was unsuitable because its lead counsel Datuk Gopal Sri Ram was not free on that day.

Khainur Aleeza then set the hearing of Gerakan’s application for leave to challenge the constitutionality of the hudud law for Oct 20.

She also instructed all parties in the matter to submit their written submissions and other court documents by Oct 6.

Gerakan Youth deputy head, Andy Yong said they had also applied that Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria be recused from hearing the matter as he was also an adviser to the Kelantan Syariah Court.

Yong had earlier told reporters that Gerakan did not object to the federal government’s application to intervene because he said the Attorney-General had the right to intervene as it involved constitutional issues.

Attorney-General Tan Sri Mohamed Apandi Ali’s supporting affidavit stated that the federal government sought to intervene in the matter because the declarations sought by Gerakan involved constitutional issues and on the validity of the law which was enacted by the Kelantan State Legislative Assembly.

He said the basis of Gerakan’s application was to dispute the validity of the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code II 1993 (Amendment 2015) or hudud, which was amended and approved by the Kelantan State Legislative Assembly on March 19, this year.

Mohamed Apandi said Gerakan’s application was to obtain declaration from the court under Article 4 of the Federal Constitution read together with Article 128 (1)(a) of the Federal Constitution.

He said according to Gerakan, the Kelantan State Legislative Assembly did not have the jurisdiction to enact Section 4 to Section 34 of the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code which were under Parliament’s exclusive jurisdiction to enact, under Article 74 of the Federal Constitution.

Three Gerakan members, namely Tuan Mat Tuan Wil, Soh Hoon Lee and Chung Mon Sie had filed an application on May 8, this year, seeking leave of the Federal Court to challenge the constitutionality of the hudud law.

They named the Kelantan government as respondent in their notice of motion. — Bernama

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