Appeals Court strikes out Bukit Katil MP’s appeal

Shamsul-Iskandar-gavelPUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal today struck out a bid by Bukit Katil (Malacca) MP Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin against a High Court’s dismissal of his constitutional challenge to the law on which he was charged for allegedly participating in the “Black 505” rally.

A three-member panel led by Justice Mohd Zawawi Salleh held that Shamsul Iskandar’s appeal was not properly brought before the court.

He upheld the preliminary objection raised by deputy public prosecutor Awang Armadajaya Awang Mahmud that Shamsul Iskandar’s appeal violated a Federal Court decision in Gan Boon Aun’s case which stated that only the Federal Court was empowered to decide on the constitutionality of the law.

Justice Zawawi, who presided with Justices Idrus Harun and Kamardin Hashim, ordered the matter to be remitted to the Sessions Court.

He said Shamsul Iskandar must strictly comply with Section 30 and Section 84 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 in making his challenge on the constitutionality of the law by referring it to the Federal Court to decide on the matter.

On Aug 5, 2013, Shamsul Iskandar, 41, with Khairul Anuar Ahmad Zainuddin, 37, and Mohd Nazree Mohd Yunus, 30, claimed trial at the Sessions Court to a charge of allegedly participating in the rally in the compound of the Ar-Rahman Mosque at Universiti Malaya between noon and 1.15pm on June 22, 2013.

The charge provides for a maximum fine of RM20,000 upon conviction.

Shamsul Iskandar then filed an application at the High Court on March 31, 2014, seeking the court to strike out his charge on grounds that Section 4 (2) of the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 was unconstitutional and contradicted Article 10 (1) (b) of the Federal Constitution.

The High Court dismissed his application on Feb 26 last year, prompting him to appeal to the Court of Appeal.

Earlier, Awang Armadajaya submitted that Shamsul Iskandar’s failure to comply with the provisions of Section 30 and Section 84, was fatal to his appeal. Also appearing for the prosecution was DPP Nadia Hanim Mohd Tajuddin.

Lawyer Kamarul Hisham Kamaruddin, representing Shamsul Iskandar, argued that his client could bring his appeal to the appellate court as the High Court had exercised its original jurisdiction in deciding on the matter.