General : High Court Dismisses Former Social, Political Activist’s Application

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 6 (Bernama) — A former social and political activist has failed in his application for a judicial review on the Federal Territories Syarie prosecution chief’s decision to charge him at the Syariah High Court.

Dr Kassim Ahmad’s application was dismissed without costs by Justice Datuk Asmabi Mohamad.

“I am of the view that the applicant cannot come to this court for judicial review of the enforcement agency. This case falls under the jurisdiction of the Syariah Court,” said the judge.

She said however, that Kassim, 82, could seek remedy in the Civil Court for his alleged unlawful arrest and detention.

“The applicant can apply to get aggravated punitive and exemplary damages over infringement of his rights under the Federal Constitution,” the judge said.

She said the Syariah Court was the best forum to adjudicate on issues of Islamic precepts as Kassim’s alleged offences fell under Syariah jurisdiction.

Kassim filed the application on June 26, seeking a certiorari order to set aside the Syarie chief prosecutor’s decision on March 27 to charge him for allegedly insulting Islam and defying the authorities.

He applied for his case at the Syariah High Court in Putrajaya to be temporarily suspended pending a decision on the judicial review application.

He also sought an order to set aside all warrants of arrest, search and seizure as well as the attached bond, and a declaration that Federal Territories Islamic Department (JAWI) officers and prosecutors had acted beyond their jurisdiction.

He alleged that the JAWI officers and prosecutors had violated the Federal Constitution, Federal Territories Syariah Act and Kedah Syariah Enactment, in their action against him.

The application further sought a declaration that fatwa (Islamic edicts) issued in the Federal Territories could only be applied to residents in the Federal Territories.

Meanwhile, Kassim said when met by reporters, that he would file an appeal.

The court set Jan 12 to hear his application for a stay of the ruling.


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