KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has dismissed a leave application for judicial review to challenge the attorney-general’s discretion in not prosecuting two Muslim converts for allegedly insulting non-Islamic faiths.
Judge Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh said the applicants – S Sivakumar and M Rajasegaran – had not rebutted the legality of the attorney-general’s decision not to file charges.
“The judge said that based on last year’s Federal Court ruling, the court could review the attorney-general’s decision, but the applicants in this case did not show bad faith (by the attorney-general),” said lawyer T Gunaseelan of the ruling delivered online today.
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However, he said, Wan Ahmad Farid held that Sivakumar and Rajasegaran had the locus standi to file the judicial review application.
Gunaseelan said he has instructions from his clients to file an appeal
Federal Counsel Noor Atiqah Zainal Abidin appeared for the attorney-general.
Sivakumar and Rajasegaran, who filed the application last year, want a declaration that the attorney-general’s decision not to charge Zamri Vinoth Kalimuthu and Firdaus Wong as recorded in the Shah Alam magistrates’ court on April 26, 2021, is invalid and must be quashed.
They also want an order from the court for the attorney-general to file charges against the duo, said to be linked to controversial preacher Zakir Naik.
The attorney-general, who was named as the respondent, opposed the leave application.
The action was filed after deputy public prosecutor Ainul Amirah told the magistrate that the attorney-general had no plans to prosecute Zamri and Firdaus.
Ainul said the attorney-general was unwilling to prosecute Perlis-based preacher Zamri and Multiracial Reverted Muslims founder and president Firdaus as police had classified their cases as “no further action” (NFA).
Former air steward S Shashi Kumar is attempting to conduct a private prosecution against the duo.
Sivakumar, who affirmed an affidavit in support of the judicial review application, said the attorney-general was given the discretionary power under Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution to institute, conduct and discontinue criminal proceedings.
He said he was aware that Shashi Kumar had started proceedings at the magistrates’ court and that the NFA classification was unreasonable and disproportionate.
He said he lodged a police report against Zamri on April 24, 2019 after finding that the preacher had posted statements on his Facebook page that allegedly insulted the Hindu religion and its rituals.
“This is intended to incite hatred and insult those practising the religion,” he said, adding that there were many others who filed police reports against Zamri.
Sivakumar said he was advised by his lawyers that Zamri had violated several penal laws and should be prosecuted.
He also said a report was lodged against Firdaus on Jan 21, 2018 for allegedly insulting non-Muslim faiths on Facebook and YouTube.