Anwar applies for apex court to rule on legality of NSC Act

Anwar Ibrahim is seeking to challenge the constitutionality of the National Security Council Act.

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court will rule on March 14 whether to allow the Federal Court to determine Anwar Ibrahim’s legal challenge of the constitutionality of the National Security Council Act (NSC).

Lawyer Gopal Sri Ram said the application was made today under Section 84 of the Courts of Judicature Act and that the defendants, the government and NSC, had no objection.

“However, the judge (Nordin Hassan) will rule on March 14 whether to send the case straight to the Federal Court or decide it himself,” he told reporters.

Sri Ram said a High Court judge could also hear and determine constitutional issues as decided by case laws.

Federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan, who appeared for the defendants, confirmed his agreement for the case to be sent to the apex court.

In the suit filed on Aug 2, 2016, Anwar claimed that the implementation of the NSC Act was unconstitutional and void for two reasons.

Firstly, he said, it became law under Article 66 (4A) of the Federal Constitution.

He said the article was the product of Section 12 of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 1983, Section 2 of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 1984 and Section 8 of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 1994.

“It effectively abolishes the need for royal assent. The amendments are unconstitutional because they violate the basic structure of the constitution,” he said.

Secondly, he said, the NSC Act was a security law and did not comply with Article 149 of the Federal Constitution.