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High Court to decide Friday on Tian Chua's disqualification

  • The High Court will decide tomorrow on a preliminary objection by the EC to an originating summons filed by Tian Chua for not allowing his nomination to contest in GE14.

KUALA LUMPUR, May 3 (Bernama) -- The High Court will decide tomorrow on a preliminary objection by the Election Commission (EC) to an originating summons filed by PKR vice-president Tian Chua for not allowing his nomination to contest the Batu parliamentary seat in the 14th General Election (GE14).

Judge Datuk Nordin Hassan fixed the date today after hearing submissions by both parties.

Senior federal counsel Datuk Amarjeet Singh, representing Returning Officer (RO) Anwar Mohd Zain and the EC, named the respondents in the suit, in his submission said the High Court had no jurisdiction to question the decision of the RO in rejecting Tian Chua's nomination to contest the Batu parliamentary seat in the GE14.

He said the jurisdiction was conferred on an Election Judge hearing an election petition.

"An election judge is defined under Section 33 of the Election Offences Act 1954 as the Chief Judge or a judge of the High Court nominated by the Chief Judge to try an election petition," he added.

Amarjeet Singh said filing an election petition was the only way to question an election as provided under Article 118 of the Federal Constitution.

"No election to the House of Representatives or to the Legislative Assembly of a State shall be called in question, except by an election petition presented to the High Court having jurisdiction where the election was held," he said.

He further said that the decision of the RO shall be final and conclusive for the purpose of the election in respect of which the proceedings were being held and shall not be called in question in any court.

He said the election laws provided that the only way to challenge the rejection of the nomination paper was by way of an election petition.

"It is settled law that the jurisdiction governing electoral matters is a peculiar jurisdiction and is subject to the election laws that created the jurisdiction. It is unknown to the High Court's original civil jurisdiction which is conferred on the High Court by the Courts of Judicature Act 1964," he added.

Amarjeet Singh also said the suit brought by Tian Chua, whose real name is Chua Tian Chan, was clearly frivolous and vexatious and an abuse of the court process, and therefore it should be dismissed.

Counsel Datuk Gurdial Singh Nijar, representing Tian Chua, submitted that the issue of election petition submitted by the EC was irrelevant with the declarations sought by the applicant.

"We are trying to establish the legal status of the applicant whether he is qualified or not. For this reason, this action proceeds by way of an OS and not any other mode, including an election petition," he said.

Tian Chua filed the originating summons last April 30, naming Anwar and EC as the first and second respondents.

In his suit, the former Batu Member of Parliament is seeking a court declaration that he was entitled to be nominated for and to contest for the seat, according to Article 48(1)(e) of the Federal Constitution.

Tian Chua's nomination was rejected by the RO on the basis that the Shah Alam High Court, on March 2, this year had fined him RM2,000 for insulting the modesty of a police officer.

The Shah Alam High Court made the decision after allowing an appeal by Tian Chua and reduced the fine to RM2,000.

He was initially fined RM3,000 by the Petaling Jaya Sessions Court on the charge of insulting the police officer in 2014.

Tian Chua in his application also claimed that in the previous polls, the 13th General Election, he was allowed to contest despite being fined RM2,000 by the court then.

Meanwhile, BN candidate for the Batu parliamentary seat Datuk Dr Dominic Lau has no problem with independent candidate Datuk V. M. Panjamothy's intention to enter the ring for PKR come GE14 on May 9.

"If he wants to contest on PKR for the Batu seat, I am fine with it. I respect his intention to contest under PKR as this is a democratic Malaysia," he told reporters after attending a meet and greet session with Sri Kelantan People's Housing Project (PPR) residents at Sentul here tonight.

Besides Panjamothy, another independent candidate for the seat, P. Prabakaran, 22, also offered himself as PKR's representative after claiming he was recently approached by a PKR member on whether he was keen to represent the party.

 

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