PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court will hear on Dec 8 a leave application by 33 former Sabah assemblymen who want to challenge the consent given by state Governor Juhar Mahiruddin to dissolve the state legislative assembly in July.
Apex court deputy registrar Mazuliana Abdul Rashid in a letter to all parties said the proceeding would be conducted through video conferencing where lawyers would be making submissions from their respective locations.
The hearing was scheduled for today but was adjourned due to an application for an adjournment by the governor, former Sabah chief minister Shafie Apdal and the state government.
In the letter dated Oct 27 sighted by FMT, Mazuliana said a virtual case management would be held on Nov 17.
She also said applicants who wished to abandon their leave to appeal application should file notice of discontinuance with the documents signed by all parties.
The 33, including former chief minister Musa Aman, had filed for leave to appeal in the Federal Court on Sept 10 against the Court of Appeal’s decision.
It is unclear how many among the 33 applicants want to proceed with the matter despite the Shafie-led Warisan government having been ousted in the Sabah state election on Sept 26.
Some of the assemblymen were re-elected and appointed to senior positions in the present Perikatan Nasional-led administration.
On Sept 8, the Court of Appeal had upheld a High Court ruling to refuse leave for judicial review to challenge the governor’s decision to call for a snap election.
Juhar had allowed then chief minister Shafie’s request to dissolve the house on July 30 to pave the way for the state polls.
A three-member Court of Appeal bench chaired by Abdul Karim Jalil said there was no appealable error by judicial commissioner Leonard David Shim in refusing the leave application for judicial review on Aug 21.
He added Juhar’s decision was non-justiciable (cannot be challenged in court) and the dissolution was not amenable to judicial review.
Musa and the 32 former reps took the position that Shafie could not advise the governor to dissolve the House as he had lost the majority support of state assemblymen.
Musa, who was then Sungai Sibuga assemblyman, attempted to form a government with the support of 32 other state reps, which included those from PKR and DAP.