Court pulls back order to hear leave applications without lawyers’ presence

Lawyers had claimed that the earlier order that all leave to appeal applications during the MCO be decided using written submissions was against the provisions in the Courts of Judicature Act and a breach of natural justice.

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has withdrawn a directive that all leave to appeal applications to be heard during the enforcement of the movement control order (MCO) will be decided based only on written submissions.

Apex court deputy registrar Jumirah Marjuki, in a letter sighted by FMT, said she had received instructions from Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat that a circular dated March 25 be revoked.

“As such, all applications for leave to appeal in the Federal Court will be heard in the presence of all parties as usual,” Jumirah said.

Malaysian Bar Council chairman Salim Bashir confirmed he had received the letter from Jumirah yesterday and that members had been notified.

“We appreciate the good gesture of the chief justice in rescinding the earlier directive,” he said.

The earlier order drew criticism from lawyers.

Leave, based on legal and constitutional questions framed by aggrieved parties, is a requirement before the bench decides whether the appeal can be heard.

Lawyers said the order was against the provisions in the Courts of Judicature Act and a breach of natural justice.

As of now, court proceedings will not be held until April 14 when the MCO expires. The MCO is being enforced to stop the spread of Covid-19.

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