PETALING JAYA: The Ipoh High Court has granted an interim stay of all eviction proceedings taken by the Kinta district land office and the State Development Corporation (SDC) against a group of farmers in Kanthan, Perak.
Lawyer Rabinder Singh said Justice Abdul Wahab Mohamed ordered that the status quo be maintained pending disposal of a leave application brought by the farmers in a bid to commence judicial review proceedings against the authorities.
Rabinder said the court also fixed Jan 12 to hear the application.
Lawyer Mior Fadhli appeared for the SDC while federal counsel Norazlinawati Arshad appeared for the remaining respondents.
Six farmers, issued with eviction notices, filed the proceedings two days ago, naming the state land and mines department director and the Perak government as respondents.
The farmers want the court to quash eviction notices issued under Section 425 of the National Land Code.
They also sought a declaration that the respondents had breached their duty to act fairly.
The farmers alleged that various representations were made to the respondents in a bid to secure alternative farming land.
They said they had a right to remain on their farming land until they were issued leases to the promised plots of land and sought an order that the respondents be prohibited from displacing them until their legitimate expectations were fulfilled.
They are also asking for an award of damages.
Two days ago, police arrested four people, including Parti Sosialis Malaysia (PSM) chairman Dr Michael Jeyakumar Devaraj, in relation to a protest held over the eviction notice and clearing of the farmland.
Others taken into custody were PSM committee member M Karthiges, Perak PSM Youth member P Kesavan, and a farmer identified as Ho Pon Tien.
They were released later that day.