Judicial review against IGP, AG over inaction in controversial preacher’s case heard in KL High Court

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Shashi (front, centre) and Peter, on his left, with the lawyers representing the plaintiffs (from left) Uma and T. Gunaseelan, at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.

KUCHING (July 31): A judicial review against the Inspector General of Police (IGP) and the Attorney-General (AG) over inaction in the case involving controversial preacher Syakir Nasoha was heard at a Kuala Lumpur High Court today.

Judge Dato Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid presided over the case and fixed Sept 26 for delivery of ruling on whether the leave for the judicial review should be granted to the plaintiffs.

According to a press statement by Global Human Rights Federation (GHRF) deputy chairman Peter John Jaban, the suit was filed sometime ago by five groups, including the federation.

The other four are Parti Bansa Dayak Sarawak (PBDS), Sarawak Association for People’s Aspiration, Ex-Students of Chinese Schools, and Pertubuhan Malaysia Tamilar Munnetra Kalagam.

The filing, added Peter, was made following a ‘No Further Action’ (NFA) classification recorded by the police over the case against Syakir.

It is informed that the group of five is led by GHRF president Shashi Kumar and Peter himself.

“We’re pursuing legal action in view of the authorities’ failure in prosecuting the controversial preacher Syakir Nasoha.”

The plaintiffs, having filed the application via Messrs Gunaseelan and Associates, are seeking a court declaration of the refusal to act against Syakir as being ‘unlawful and an abuse of power on the part of IGP and the AG’.

The leading counsel T. Gunaseelan is assisted by Uma Gunaseelan.

Senior Federal Counsel Ahmad Hanir Hambal and Federal Counsel Noor Atiqah Zainal Abidin, who appeared for the AG today, raised the submission why the leave application for judicial review should not be granted to the plaintiffs.

They had argued that the IGP should not have been made a party because the discretion to prosecute lay within the powers of AG under Article 145 of the Federal Constitution and also, that the decision not to prosecute was not reviewable.

T. Gunaseelan responded that since it was the IGP who had said that recordings on allegedly offensive remarks made by the preacher did not show any seditious tendency, he therefore should be made as a party and, based on legal authorities, his decisions ‘should be reviewable’.

The lead counsel also argued that the transcript of the recording on allegedly offensive remarks made by the preacher, which was produced in court, clearly showed seditious tendency.