Anwar’s legal challenge on National Security Council Act dismissed

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Source: FMT News

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal today dismissed opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim’s appeal to declare the National Security Council (NSC) Act as unconstitutional.

A three-man bench chaired by Rohana Yusuf said Anwar should have gone straight to the Federal Court as he was challenging the competency of Parliament to pass the law.

The ruling affirmed the decision of the Kuala Lumpur High Court in October last year.

Justice Hanipah Farikullah threw out the case as the High Court lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter.

Lawyer Gopal Sri Ram, who represented Anwar, today submitted that the NSC Act was unconstitutional for two reasons.He said it became law under Article 66(4A) of the Federal Constitution.

He said the Article was the product of Section 12 of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 1983, Section 2 of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 1984 and Section 8 of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 1994.

“It effectively abolishes the need for royal assent. The amendments are unconstitutional because they violate the basic structure of the Constitution,” he said.

Secondly, he said the NSC Act was a security law and must comply with Article 149.

“It does not, and is therefore unconstitutional,” Sri Ram added.

Senior federal counsel Amarjeet Singh said Anwar should have filed his matter under Article 4(3) of the Constitution.

He said the appellant should have first obtained leave from the apex court for the merit of his case to be heard.

Lawyer Latheefa Koya, who appeared with Sri Ram, said an appeal would be filed in the Federal Court.

On Aug 2 last year, Anwar filed the suit to defer the implementation of the NSC Act on the ground that it was unconstitutional.