Selangor govt fails to get judicial review on redelineation exercise

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here yesterday threw out an application for a judicial review filed by the Selangor government to challenge the Election Commission’s proposed redelineation  exercise in Selangor.

Judge Azizul Azmi Adnan in rejecting the application said that the court was bound by the decision of the Appeals Court regarding the same issue in Perak and Melaka.

In his judgement, Azizul Azmi said the the Appeals Court had held that  state governments did not have rights in terms of the constitution to challenge proposed redelineation exercises by the EC.

Parties filing for judicial review Under Order 53 of the Rules of the High Court 2012, he said, must prove that they were severely affected by the decision or actions related to the function and public responsibility.

Apart from this, Azizul Azmi said the applicant (Selangor government) had also claimed that the process of delineation was defective because it was found that 136,272 voters did not have addresses.

However, he said although the electoral roll did not have the addresses of the voters, it had the locality code and possibly the addresses were already available to the EC when the locality codes were placed.

“Although the applicant stated the addresses were lost due to the voters relocating ((although the issue was denied by the EC), I am of the view that the matter did not affect the redelineation process” he said.

On the issue of whether the accuracy of the electoral roll can be challenged, the judge said the issue had been resolved because the accuracy of the electoral roll cannot be challenged even if voters’ addresses are incomplete.

However, the court allowed the application by counsel Datuk Dr Cyrus Das, who represented the Selangor government, to suspend the local inquiry process for parliamentary and state constituencies in the state pending a decision on the appeal by the Court of Appeal.

In addition to Cyrus, the Selangor government was represented by lawyer Datuk S. Ambiga while Senior Federal Counsel Datuk Amarjeet Singh, Shamsul Bolhassan and Azizan Md Arshad represented the EC, the EC chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah and EC secretary Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh as respondents.

On Oct 19 last year, Selangor Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali represented the state government in filing the application for a  judicial review to challenge the proposed redelineation of electoral boundaries for parliamentary and state constituencies in Selangor by the EC.

In his application, Mohamed Azmin sought a declaration that the proposed redelineation, from a 2016 study by the EC, was unconstitutional, inconsistent with Clauses 2(c) and 2(d) of Article 113(2) of the Thirteenth Schedule of the Federal Constitution, null and void.

He also sought a declaration that the EC’s failure to use the latest electoral roll in the delineation was unconstitutional, not in line with Clause 3 of the Thirteenth Schedule of the Constitution, was therefore null and void.

He also urged the EC to rectify and update the addresses of 136,272 voters in Selangor, whose addresses were not on the voters list.

He filed the application on the grounds that the EC had acted unconstitutionally, unreasonably and irrationally against Article 113 (2) of the Federal Constitution. — Bernama

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