PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal yesterday upheld the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s decision in dismissing Tengku Muhammad Fakhry Petra’s leave application for a judicial review of his brother, the then-regent Tengku Muhamamd Faris Petra’s action in revoking his membership in the Kelantan Succession Council.
A three-member panel, headed by Justice Datuk Abdul Wahab Patail, in a unanimous decision, ruled that there was no error in the decision of the High Court to warrant an intervention by the Court of Appeal.
The other panel members were Justices Datuk Rohana Yusof and Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat.
They also ordered Tengku Muhammad Fakhry to pay costs of RM25,000 to the respondents, including the Sultan of Kelantan, Sultan Muhammad V.
The panel made the decision after hearing submissions from Tengku Muhammad Fakhry’s lead counsel, Datuk S Ambiga, and Sultan’s counsel, Tan Sri Cecil Abraham.
Kelantan state legal advisor Datuk Azlan Abdul Halim appeared for the Kelantan government, while senior federal counsel Suzana Atan represented the Attorney-General of Chambers.
Tengku Muhammad Fakhry filed the application for judicial review on Dec 7, 2009 to seek an order from the court to require the regent to restore him as a member of the council, and an order of certiorari to quash the appointment of five other members to the council.
Tengku Muhammad Fakhry had challenged the regent’s (currently the Sultan) decision in removing him from the Kelantan Council of Succession on Sept 16, 2009.
Tengku Muhammad Fakhry, who is the third son of the late Sultan Ismail Petra (the former Sultan of Kelantan), named the regent, secretary of the Council of Succession and the Kelantan government as the first, second and third respondents respectively.
Five other respondents are Datuk Hashim Yusoff, Datuk Tengku Salwah Sultan Yahya Petra, Datuk Sukri Mohamed, Datuk Che Mohd Rahim Jusoh and Col Dr Mohammad Razin Kamarulzaman.
On Jan 29, 2010, the High Court ruled that the action of the then Kelantan’s Regent, Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra, in removing his younger brother from the state Royal Succession Council could not be reviewed.
The court also viewed that a court of law was not a suitable forum to decide on issues involving a royal prerogative and any dispute should be resolved by the Sultan of Kelantan himself.
The court also pointed out that under Article 5 of the Kelantan Constitution, the council is responsible to confirm the succession to the throne and to determine whether there is a vacancy on the throne by reason of absence of the sultan from the state for more than a year. — Bernama