PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court yesterday returned the election petition filed by Pakatan Harapan candidate, Datuk Seri Khairuddin Abu Hassan who contested the Jasin parliamentary seat in the 14th General Election (GE14) to the Election Court for trial.
A five-man bench led by Chief Justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum allowed Khairuddin’s appeal to remit the case for hearing of the merits before a new Election Court judge.
In October last year, the Election Court dismissed Khairuddin’s petition after allowing a preliminary objection raised by Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate, Datuk Seri Ahmad Hamzah.
In allowing the appeal unanimously, Justice Malanjum said the court accepted the two grounds submitted by Khairuddin’s counsel, Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram.
The court agreed with Sri Ram that the petition was properly filed in the Election Court in Kuala Lumpur and that Khairuddin had pleaded sufficient particulars in his petition.
Justice Malanjum said, “We will write our full grounds later.” He set this Friday for mention of the case.
The Chief Justice also ordered Ahmad Hamzah to pay RM20,000 in costs.
Election Court judge Datuk Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali had dismissed Khairuddin’s petition on grounds that the petition should be filed at the Malacca High Court, the place where the election was held and not in the Kuala Lumpur High Court.
Khairuddin lost to Ahmad by 219 votes in GE14. Ahmad garnered 26,560 votes while Khairuddin received 26,341 votes and PAS candidate Abd Alim Shapie, 8,860 votes.
Khairuddin, the former Batu Kawan Umno vice-chief, filed the election petition in June last year under Section 34(C) of the Election Offences Act 1954.
He sought a declaration that the result for the Jasin parliamentary seat in GE14 was null and void, claiming that the BN politician was unlawfully elected and that a fresh election should be held.
Lawyer Datuk Wira Mohd Hafarizam Harun represented Ahmad, while lawyer Datuk Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin appeared for returning officer Zamrud Yahya and the Election Commission (EC). — Bernama