- 5:17PM Oct 16, 2012
Lawyer P Uthayakumar has failed in his bid to have the Federal Court review a Federal Court decision declaring the Sedition Act 1948 a valid law.
At the Federal Court today, Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Richard Malanjum, leading a five-man bench, said Uthayakumar failed to satisfy the criteria set in Rule 137 of the Federal Court Rules 1995 to review the decision. He said the matter should be addressed at another forum.
The panel, also comprising Federal Court judges Hashim Mohd Yusof, Ahmad Maarop, Sulong Matjeraie and Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha, unanimously dismissed Uthayakumar’s review application which was made under Rule 137 of the Federal Court Rules.
Following this decision, Uthayakumar has to face his sedition charge. His trial at the Sessions Court has been set for Oct 23.
Uthayakumar filed an application on Aug 9 this year seeking a review of the Federal Court’s ruling in view of the recent announcement made by Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak that the Sedition Act 1948 would be repealed.
He sought to have the Federal Court allow his review application and rule that the charge preferred against him under Section 4 (1)(a) of the Sedition Act 1948 was invalid and ultra vires the federal constitution following the prime minister’s public announcement to repeal the Sedition Act 1948, which was from the British colonial era and had become outdated and obsolete.
He said the announcement was published in the New Straits Timesand Utusan Malaysia of July 12, 2012.
On June 25 this year, a five-man Federal Court panel dismissed Uthayakumar’s appeal and upheld the decisions of the Court of Appeal and the High Court which declared the Sedition Act a valid law.
The 49-year-old former Internal Security Act detainee was charged in the Kuala Lumpur Sessions Court on Dec 11, 2007, with publishing a seditious letter on the ‘Police Watch Malaysia’ website, dated Nov 15, 2007, which was addressed to the then-prime minister of Britain, Gordon Brown.
He made a declaratory application (to declare the Sedition Act unconstitutional) at the Kuala Lumpur High Court in a bid to have the charge against him under the Act to be revoked and the prosecution in the proceedings in the Sessions Court to be struck out.
The High Court rejected Uthayakumar’s application to declare the Sedition Act unconstitutional.
Policy decision made by PM and law minister
Earlier, lawyer M Manoharan, representing Uthayakumar, submitted that there was a policy decision made by the prime minister and de facto law minister Mohamed Nazri Aziz saying that the Sedition Act would be repealed because it was outdated and no longer a good law.
“This policy decision came two weeks after the Federal Court decided in Uthayakumar’s appeal,” he said, adding that the issue was never ventilated at the appeal in the Federal Court.
Deputy public prosecutor Noorin Badarudin said the issue over the nugatory of the Sedition Act has been dealt with in the appeal and, therefore, there was no special circumstances for the Federal Court to review its own decision.
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