PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has rescheduled its hearing to Oct 30 on whether the National Security Council (NSC) Act is unconstitutional, a lawyer appearing for Port Dickson MP Anwar Ibrahim said.
J Leela said the new date was decided today following case management before Federal Court deputy registrar Nurhafizah Zainal Abidin.
The government was represented by federal counsel Krishna Priya.
Earlier, the registry had fixed July 12 to have the matter heard before a nine-member bench as the reference involved constitutional issues.
However, no reason was given for rescheduling the case.
“Despite the new date, we have filed our written submission,” Leela said, adding that former Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram will argue the matter for Anwar.
On March 14, High Court judge Nordin Hassan allowed Anwar’s application under Section 84 of the Courts of Judicature Act to refer the matter to the Federal Court.
The first legal question is whether 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 are null and void and have no effect on grounds that they breach the basic structure of the Federal Constitution.
The second is whether the NSC Act is unconstitutional, null and void on grounds that it became law pursuant to an unconstitutional amendment, was not enacted in accordance with Article 149, and violates freedom of movement as guaranteed under Article 9(2).
Anwar, in his originating summons, claimed 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, Anwar said, the NSC Act was a security law and did not comply with Article 149 of the Federal Constitution.