PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has dismissed the Malaysian Bar’s appeal to refer constitutional questions to the apex court concerning the validity of an emergency proclamation made in 2020.
Justice Azizul Adnan Azmi, who delivered the broad grounds of judgment, said the bench was bound by an earlier decision, made by another panel of the court on Oct 12 last year, disallowing a similar appeal by Bersih.
“That bench came to a finding that there was no appealable error by the High Court and accordingly dismissed the appeal,” he said.
The court noted that both the present appeal and the parallel one filed by Bersih emanated from the same High Court judgment, but were heard by two different panels.
The present appeal, chaired by Justice Kamaludin Said, heard submissions two months ago. Justice Hashim Hamzah was the third panel member.
On May 18 last year, Justice Ahmad Kamal Shahid of the Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed the applications filed by both the Bar and Bersih to refer a total of 34 constitutional questions to the Federal Court.
Kamal said he would instead hear and decide all legal questions posed by both applications himself.
The Bar raised 27 questions of law on the validity of the proclamation made under the Emergency Ordinance, while Bersih’s application posed another seven questions.
The emergency proclamation, issued to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic which began globally in early 2020, took effect from Jan 12 to Aug 1, 2021.
Both Bersih and the Bar had named former prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin and the government as respondents.
Senior federal counsel Liew Horng Bin said the High Court had fixed a case management on Dec 4 to hear the applications.
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