Anwar drops challenge against appeals court president

PUTRAJAYA: Anwar Ibrahim has dropped his legal challenge on the appointment of Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin as Court of Appeal president last year.

His lawyer Shahid Adli Kamarudin said the PKR leader also withdrew his application for leave to seek a declaration on his right to vote as a prisoner.

The notice was filed by Anwar last Friday.

On June 13 last year, Anwar lost his appeal at the Court of Appeal which upheld a High Court dismissal that he was not entitled to cast his ballot while serving time.

The former Permatang Pauh MP was jailed for five years in 2015 after he was convicted for sodomy.

On May 16 this year, Anwar walked out a free man after the king granted him a full pardon.

Anwar, who is also Pakatan Harapan de facto leader, had named the Prisons Department and the Home Minister as parties for their failure to allow him to vote in the Permatang Pauh by-election.

The poll was held in May 2015 after Anwar was disqualified as MP and the seat was won by his wife Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.

On Oct 27 last year, Zulkefli, who chaired the Federal Court bench together with Hasan Lah and Jeffrey Tan Kok Hwa, rejected Anwar’s request to be present at his leave application.

Anwar then filed a review of the decision due to coram failure as Zulkefli’s appointment was unconstitutional.

He contended the sitting was bad for want of a coram as a minimum of three judges was necessary to make a decision under Section 74 of the Courts of Judicature Act.

Since the chairman was disqualified from sitting, he said the provision had not been complied with.

Anwar said Zulkefli’s appointment, both as additional judge and his reappointment as Court of Appeal president, was against provisions in the Federal Constitution.

The government, on July 7, announced that Chief Justice Raus Sharif would remain in office for another three years from Aug 4 while Zulkefli would remain in his post for another two years from Sept 28.

They were scheduled to retire on Aug 3 and Sept 27 respectively, upon reaching the mandatory retirement age of 66 years and six months.

Two weeks ago, the Chief Registrar of the Federal Court announced that Raus and Zukefli had submitted their resignations from office effective July 31.

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