Tian Chua can only challenge EC after polls, court told

KUALA LUMPUR: The Election Commission (EC) has sought to block Tian Chua from taking legal action over the rejection of his nomination form last week to contest the Batu parliamentary constituency.

Government lawyer Amarjeet Singh said the PKR vice-president must file an election petition after the general election, as provided for under Article 118 of Federal Constitution.

“It is the Chief Judge of Malaya or a judge appointed by him who can hear an election petition,” he said, citing past cases to support the EC’s position.

“If the law is clear, then the court must follow it,” he added.

Tian Chua is seeking to overturn the decision by the EC’s returning officer in Batu, disqualifying him as a candidate on grounds that he had been fined RM2,000 last month.

The hearing is before justice Nordin Hassan, who will deliver his ruling tomorrow on whether Tian Chua is qualified to contest.

“The case laws were given to me this morning and I need to go through them,” he told the packed courtroom.

Tian Chua, who filed an affidavit to support his action, said it was settled law that a RM2,000 fine did not affect his eligibility as a candidate.

He said in the 13th general election held in 2013, the returning officer for the constituency had allowed him to file the nomination papers, despite a previous conviction and a RM2,000 fine.

Meanwhile, Tian Chua’s lawyer Gurdial Singh Nijar said all the case laws cited by Amarjeet were related to challenging election results.

“We are only questioning the legal status of Tian Chua,” he said, adding that his client was not challenging the action of the election officer.

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