PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has fixed Aug 14 to hear an appeal filed by two opposition MPs from Ipoh who had complained that the Election Commission’s (EC) current redelineation of their constituencies is against Federal Constitution guidelines.
Ipoh Barat MP M Kulasegaran said the date was fixed before deputy registrar Aina Azahara Arifin during a case management exercise today.
“The early date was fixed at the instruction of the Court of Appeal president as it is a public interest case,” he told FMT.
Kulasegaran, who is also a lawyer, represented himself and Ipoh Timor MP Thomas Su Keong Siong.Kulasegaran said he had asked for another case management date as the High Court had yet to prepare its grounds of judgment as to why it dismissed their leave for judicial review.
“The deputy registrar informed me and a government lawyer present that the judgment would be ready by today,” he said.
The DAP national vice-chairman said the court had also ordered both parties to file their submissions by Aug 8.
“It is unusual why the court is rushing to dispose of the case and giving us a short time to prepare our argument,” he said.
On May 5, Justice Che Ruzima Ghazali threw out the judicial review as it was frivolous and that there was no arguable case.
Che Ruzima held that all six issues raised by Kulasegaran and Thomas could be ventilated in the second local enquiry of the EC, which has now been completed.
On March 31, both MPs filed the judicial review application seeking to quash the EC’s second proposed recommendations for its electoral redelineation exercise.
Both said they had raised objections to the first proposed recommendation by the EC on Sept 15 last year and a local enquiry was held.
However, they received no answer to their complaints.
They said, on March 8 the second notice of the proposed recommendations was advertised in daily newspapers.
The MPs claimed the suggested redelineation exercise went against the one-man, one-vote principle, a violation of the equality provision under Article 8(2) of the constitution.
On July 18, the Court of Appeal reversed a leave for judicial review application given to seven voters by the High Court in Melaka on May 3.
The voters from the Kota Melaka and Bukit Katil parliamentary constituencies complained that the EC did not follow the redelineation guidelines.
On July 20, the Pakatan Rakyat-led Selangor government also suffered a setback in its on-going judicial review application against the EC on the redelineation exercise.
A three-man Court of Appeal bench, chaired by Mohd Zawawi Salleh, which allowed the EC’s appeal, said it was not required to provide to the state government the locality code and locality name used in the 1994 and 2003 exercise.
The bench also dismissed the state’s appeal to cross-examine EC chairman Mohd Hashim Abdullah.
The Selangor government filed a legal challenge in October last year, seeking to nullify the EC’s notice of redelineation, claiming it violated the constitution in drawing new electoral boundaries.
It wants the court to quash the EC’s notice and direct it to publish a fresh notice on the proposed exercise.
FMT understands lawyers appearing for the seven voters and the Selangor government would be filing an appeal to the Federal Court before the expiry of the 30-day deadline.