Thursday, September 23

Court rejects former Umno members’ appeal over party’s legality

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PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal here yesterday dismissed an appeal by 16 former Umno members against a High Court’s refusal of their application to challenge the legality of the party.

Justice Datuk Dr Badariah Sahamid, chairing a three-member bench, upheld the Kuala Lumpur High Court’s ruling which denied the group’s application for leave for judicial review after the panel found that there was no reason to interfere in the High Court’s findings.

“Therefore, we uphold the decision of the High Court which allowed the preliminary objection raised by the respondent. We dismiss the appeal with no order as to costs,” said Justice Badariah, who heard the appeal with Justices Datuk Kamardin Hashim and Datuk Zabariah Mohd Yusof.

She said after the panel looked at the landmark decisions on the Semenyih Jaya Sdn Bhd and M.Indira Gandhi cases on the jurisdiction issue raised by the appellants, the court was of the view that the facts and the point of law in both cases were very different from today’s appeal.

The panel made the ruling after hearing submissions by lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, who represented the 16 appellants, and senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan, acting for the Registrar of Societies (RoS), who was the respondent.

On April 27, 2018, the High Court dismissed the leave application for judicial review filed by the group after allowing the preliminary objection raised by RoS.

They 16 were Salihudin Ahmad Khalid, Noorhalimi Yahya, Mariam Mohd Ishak, Mohd Hafami Hanif, Saharudin Tukiman, Azaid Jani, Normalawati Hassan, Radiana Abd Manaf, Mohd Rafeek Rahim, Nurul Hanna Mohd Suhot, Kamarul Abd Wahid, Mohd Hikamal Md Hassim, Muzamzamir Abd Wahab, Norizam Jamaludin, Rohani Ahmad and Muhamad Hafizi Hashim.

In the application, they had sought a certiorari order to quash RoS’ decision as announced through a media statement dated March 5, 2018, to grant Umno an extension for its party elections till April 19, 2019, which exceeded the maximum period.

They had further sought a mandamus to compel RoS to provisionally dissolve Umno and for RoS to suspend all Umno activities pending disposal of the judicial review.

They also wanted a declaration that Umno was illegal effective April 20, this year. — Bernama