KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has dismissed former attorney-general Abdul Gani Patail’s application to strike out PKR Youth chief Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad’s suit for the tort of misfeasance in public office.
Lawyer Syahredzan Johan said justice Ahmad Zahidi Ibrahim ruled that this was not a plain and obvious case to allow for the striking out.
“The judge said there were triable issues and witnesses need to be called,” Syahredzan told reporters, as Ahmad Zahidi made the ruling in his chambers.
The lawyer, who is appearing for Nik Nazmi, said his client had a reasonable cause of action to bring the suit.
The court has fixed May 25 and 26 to hear the suit.
Syahredzan said Nik Nazmi would be the only witness in his action while Gani and the government had lined up two witnesses.
Gani, in his application, had pleaded that the suit should be struck out as the politician had pleaded guilty to a criminal offence.
Gani said Nik Nazmi was fined RM1,500 last year for organising the Black 505 rally in 2013.
On Dec 8 last year, Nik Nazmi, in a surprise turn of events, decided to plead guilty in the Shah Alam High Court to organising the mammoth gathering in protest of the May 5, 2013, general election outcome.
He committed the offence by failing to give the mandatory 10-day notice to police under the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012 regarding the gathering at Stadium Kelana Jaya on May 8, 2013.
However, the fine allowed the PKR assemblyman for Seri Setia to continue holding public office.
Nazmi was first charged with the offence in May 2013 in the Sessions Court but the Court of Appeal acquitted him in April the following year on grounds that the section that provided for a maximum RM10,000 fine was unconstitutional.
He was again charged in the lower court with the same offence in May 2014 but the High Court threw out the government’s appeal as it was bound by the Court of Appeal ruling.
The prosecution in 2015 charged Nik Nazmi for the third time for organising the rally and he pleaded guilty to the offence.
On March 31, 2015, Nik Nazmi filed the suit, alleging that he had been the victim of malicious prosecution.
He named Gani and the government as respondents to the suit.
Gani, in his defence, said his act was purely an exercise of discretion vested in him by law and not done in bad faith.
He said there must be a charge hanging over Nik Nazmi because the government had appealed against the Court of Appeal decision to the Federal Court.
“He was charged to preserve the integrity of the appeal in the Federal Court.”
He said the government finally withdrew the appeal in the Federal Court.