AGC raises three grounds in Amanah’s challenge on CJ’s appointment

The appointment of Chief Justice Md Raus Sharif beyond his mandatory retirement age of 66 years and six months is a non-justiciable issue as it was done with the consent of the Yang di Pertuan Agong, the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) argued today.

The AGC raised this as one of the three grounds at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur in Amanah’s challenge on the chief justice’s appointment.

The second ground was on Amanah’s locus standi in initiating the action and that the mode of quo warranto applied by them was not proper to question the appointment.

Quo warranto is a legal action requiring the person who holds the post to show what warrant or authority he or she is holding the post.

The AGC also argued that the application to impose an injunction against Justice Raus from performing his task as the chief justice until the disposal of the case was not proper.

Senior federal counsel Suzana Atan raised these issues in the preliminary objection to Amanah’s judicial review application for leave (permission) to challenge Justice Raus appointment to be heard on its full merits.

In reply, Amanah’s lawyer Mohd Hanipa Maidin said all are bound by the Federal Constitution and the party has the right to challenge the appointment if it was deemed to be unconstitutional.

Hanipa, who is Sepang MP and Amanah’s head of the legal division, said on the issue of quo warranto, the party was not challenging the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s powers to appoint but questioning the capacity of the person appointed to the post.

“In former Perak menteri besar Mohd Nizar Jamaluddin’s case, we did that in questioning (the appointment of) Zambry Abdul Kadir and leave was granted. During leave stage, the threshold is low,” he said.

The submissions were made before Justice Azizah Nawawi in chambers and fixed Feb 14 to deliver her decision.

Amanah’s challenge

Amanah filed the judicial review application through its assistant secretary Abang Ahmad Kerdee Abang Masagus last Nov 1, in which he named Justice Raus as the sole respondent.

The party claimed that Justice Raus can only hold the post of chief justice if he is a valid Federal Court judge. He was scheduled for mandatory retirement after 66 years and six months, according to Article 125(1) of the Federal Constitution, on Aug 4 this year.

However, he was appointed as an additional judge before the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, on the advice of the previous chief justice, and became the chief justice thereafter.

According to Abang Kerdee’s application, a chief justice should retire at the age of 66 years and six months, the automatic retirement age, without extension.

Besides Amanah, former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad and the Malaysian Bar had also filed separate legal challenges against Justice Raus’ appointment.

Mahathir’s judicial review application was dismissed last month.

 

Artikel disiar pada December 7, 2017 - 2:01 pm oleh Susan Loo

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