Govt can be sued for double standards in enforcing laws, say lawyers

Lawyer Gurdial Singh Nijar says those who want to take legal action against the government can go to court and ask for declarations.

PETALING JAYA: Rights contained in the Federal Constitution can be used to sue the government if it can be shown to be practising double standards in enforcing Covid-19 regulations, say two lawyers.

Lawyer Gurdial Singh Nijar said those who wanted to take legal action against the government could go to court and ask for declarations.

“However, (such) declarations depend on the discretion of the judge or court,” he told FMT.

Meanwhile, A Srimurugan told FMT that only those who could show that they had been treated in a discriminatory manner could sue, and they had to show that their right to equal protection of the law under Article 8(1) of the Federal Constitution had been violated.

“Not everyone can take legal action against the government,” he said.

Article 8 (1) of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia states that all persons are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection of the law. The article also has exceptions and provisions.

Srimurugan lamented that certain politicians did not take the law seriously, saying this would set a bad example to others.

“If people who pass the law (lawmakers) don’t obey the law, how can you expect ordinary people to follow the law?

“This is insulting the law.”

He urged the authorities concerned to enforce the law on everyone, regardless of their position.

“The police or government agencies must punish offenders irrespective of whether the law is broken by ordinary citizens or MPs. Otherwise, the public will lose confidence in the legal system.”

Srimurugan said political leaders who violated the laws should not be allowed to get away with just apologies and fines.

“Those (political leaders) who have been fined for violating laws should resign. In other countries and jurisdictions, leaders who violated the laws had resigned,” he pointed out.