High Court rejects bid by temple task force, devotees to join inquest

The High Court has ruled that the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman task force and devotees cannot be interested parties in the inquest into the death of Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.

SHAH ALAM: The High Court has dismissed applications by the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman temple task force and devotees to take part in the inquest into the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim.

Judge Abd Karim Abd Rahman said both applicants had “no nexus” to the incident to be made interested parties and to take part in the proceedings.

Lawyer M Visvanathan, who represented the task force, said the judge held that his client was there only to resolve the land dispute with the property owner and the issue of the relocation of the temple.

“We will be appealing today’s ruling as serious questions of law have arisen,” he told FMT.

Visvanathan expressed disappointment that counsel for the Attorney-General’s Chambers and the housing and local government ministry were against the task force being made an interested party in the inquest.

“It looks like there will be no transparency since the lawyers representing the government are against my client participating in the proceedings,” he said.

On Jan 31, coroner Rofiah Mohamad turned down the applications by the task force and devotees to take part in the inquest as there were no “substantive, genuine and reasonable grounds” to make them interested parties.

“This inquest is not about pinpointing criminal liability but to assist the court into the cause of death,” she had said.

The Bar Council, Suhakam, Adib’s family, the housing and local government ministry and the Fire Services Department have been given the green light to assist in the inquest.

The inquest will be held from Feb 11 to 28, March 1 to 5, March 19 to 29 and April 1 to 12. Thirty witnesses are expected to testify.

Adib, 24, was severely injured during the violence at the Sri Maha Mariamman temple in USJ 25. He had been part of the response team sent from the Subang Jaya fire and rescue station early on Nov 27.

He died at the National Heart Institute three weeks later.