KUALA LUMPUR (Oct 19): Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s application to challenge the Prisons Department’s refusal to allow his request to attend the Dewan Rakyat proceedings has been rendered academic since Parliament was dissolved and Najib is no longer a parliamentarian, the High Court heard today.
Senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan, representing the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC), submitted that the former prime minister should not be allowed to proceed with his judicial review application since the dissolution of Parliament on October 10.
“This can be seen in various news reports and more importantly, the proclamation of dissolution of Parliament has been gazetted. We submit that the court should take judicial notice on the P.U.(A) 320/2022 gazette,” said Shamsul before judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid.
Shamsul was making his submission in objecting to Najib’s application for leave for judicial review to challenge the Prisons Department’s decision not to allow him to attend the Dewan Rakyat proceedings.
He said the allegations and complaints which formed the basis of Najib’s judicial review could no longer sustain and the pleaded reliefs against the respondents had no practical consequences.
“The circumstances have changed as Parliament has been dissolved. The practical question now is why you need to attend Parliament sittings? Why you need to see your aides to do parliamentarian work? The AGC pray for this leave to be dismissed for being frivolous and vexatious,” he said.
Najib’s lead counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah argued that his client’s application was still an alive issue as it could occur again in the future.
“Until today, we do not know whether he (Najib) is still a prospective candidate for Pekan MP (post).
“It is not unlikely my client will sue the Prisons Department because he was deprived of that period to attend Parliament… so this is an alive issue that would tantamount to damages, whether nominal or otherwise, because he was deprived of going to Parliament,” said the lawyer.
Judge Ahmad Kamal fixed October 27 to deliver his decision on Najib’s leave application.
On October 5, Najib, 69, filed the application naming the government, the Home Minister and the Commissioner General of Prisons as the first to third respondents in seeking an order to quash the decision of the third respondent to not allow him access to his officers/aides for the purposes of parliamentary, legislative and constituency work.
He is also seeking an order to set aside the decision to not allow him to attend Parliament on the scheduled dates of sitting.
In his supporting affidavit, Najib said the decision of the first and third respondents (the government and Commissioner General of Prisons) in rejecting his application on the grounds of security was conveyed to him via the Kajang Prison Office on September 28.
Najib also stated that the first and third respondents’ refusal to allow him access to his officers and aides for the purposes of parliamentary and constituency matters and the subsequent inaction by the second respondent were an exercise of unreasonableness or irrationality.
He said pursuant to Article 59 of the Federal Constitution, he had a constitutional obligation to discharge his duties effectively and with substance as a member of Parliament, in the representation of the constituents of Pekan. – Bernama