PUTRAJAYA, Oct 30 — The Election Commission (EC) today won in its appeal to set aside an injunction order obtained by the Selangor Government to stop the commission from submitting its redelineation report to the prime minister.
A Court of Appeal three-man bench, comprising Datuk Umi Kalthum Abdul Majid, Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi and Datuk Suraya Othman, unanimously allowed the appeal by the EC, its chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah and secretary Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh, with no costs.
Justice Umi Kalthum, who chaired the panel, however, did not state the grounds for allowing the EC’s appeal.
Nevertheless, the Selangor government still has a stay order against the EC from conducting local inquiries in the state pending a High Court decision on the states’s judicial review application , which has been fixed on Dec 7.On July 5 this year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court granted an injunction to the Selangor government to stop the EC from submitting its redelineation report to the prime minister.
The state government had filed a judicial review on Oct 19, 2016 against EC, Mohd Hashim and Abdul Ghani, in relation to actions taken in the delimitation exercise affecting the state of Selangor.
The government sought for an order to quash a notice under Section 4 of the ‘Thirteenth Schedule’ to the Federal Constitution, titled “proposed recommendation for Federal and State constituencies in the states of Malaya”, dated Sept 15, 2016.
The state government also sought for an order to compel the EC to publish a new notice and new recommendations, which complies with the Thirteenth Schedule.
Senior federal counsel Datuk Amarjeet Singh submitted that the EC was prevented from carrying out their constitutional function and could not conduct the second local inquiries in other states in the peninsular due to the injunction given to the Selangor government.
He also said the EC’s hands were tied by the stay order obtained by the Selangor government on all the local inquiries in the state and thus it could not submit the report to the prime minister by virtue of section 8 of the 13th Schedule of the Federal Constitution, which stated that only one report could be submitted to the prime minister in respect of the states of Malaya.
Meanwhile, counsel Datuk Dr Cyrus Das, representing the Selangor government, argued that the injunction was sought to prevent the EC from submitting its redelineation report to the prime minister.
He said once the prime minister were to table the report in Parliament, the court would not have any jurisdiction to give an injunction to the Selangor state government.
He said the EC did not give an undertaking to the court that it would not submit the report to the prime minister without including the state of Selangor.