PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has dismissed a taxi driver’s application to obtain leave to proceed with his appeal to delist the Liberation of Tigers Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a terrorist group.
Judge Vernon Ong, who led a three-member panel, said the court refused the leave after considering arguments raised and perusing appeal records.
He said the five questions proposed by V Balamurugan’s lawyers did not meet the threshold requirement under Section 96 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964.
He made no order on costs as the matter was of public interest.
The other members on the panel were Zabariah Yusof and Hasnah Hashim.
The questions presented by Balamurugan’s lawyers were related to the scope and limits of the home minister’s power in declaring entities under Section 66B(1) of the Anti-Money Laundering, Anti-Terrorism Financing and Proceeds of Unlawful Activities Act 2001.
On Feb 6, 2020, Balamurugan obtained leave from the High Court to commence a judicial review seeking a court order to delist LTTE as a terrorist group in the country. After hearing his judicial review, the High Court dismissed it on Sept 17, 2020.
Balamurugan, 40, appealed against the decision in the Court of Appeal, which dismissed it on April 14 this year. He filed an application to seek leave to pursue his appeal to the Federal Court on May 20.
In his judicial review, naming the home minister and the government as respondents, Balamurugan sought to declare the LTTE details in the government gazette as null and void, and the listing of LTTE as unlawful, because it was ultra vires the Federal Constitution.
Balamurugan was among 12 individuals charged in late 2019 over alleged support for the LTTE. However, in February 2020, then attorney-general Tommy Thomas dropped the charges against them.
In today’s online proceeding, lawyers S Ambiga, Lim Wei Jiet and Omar Kutty Abdul Aziz represented Balamurugan. Senior federal counsel Ahmad Hanir Hambaly @ Arwi and federal counsel Ng Wee Li appeared for the government.