General & Misc

Court allows Sivarraajh to challenge EC Decision over Camerons By-Election

Date: 07 January 2019; Type: Industry Updates; Source: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 (Bernama) - The High Court today allowed an application by former Cameron Highlands MP Datuk C. Sivarraajh to initiate a judicial review to challenge the decision of the Election Commission (EC) prohibiting him from contesting in the Cameron Highlands by-election on Jan 26.

Sivarraajh’s counsel A. Vasanthi said Judge Datuk Nordin Hassan made the decision in chambers in the presence of Senior Federal Council S. Narkunavathy who acted for the EC, the respondent.

She said the court set Thursday to hear the judicial review application.

Meanwhile, Narkunavathy said the court dismissed an objection, raised by the EC that it was premature, on the grounds that the case had to be heard as there were issues to be decided upon.

Sivarraajh, 43, who is an MIC vice-president, filed the application on Dec 31 last year seeking a court order to quash the EC decision disallowing him to contest or vote in any election for five years from Dec 13, 2018.

He also sought a declaration that the report of the Election Court judge dated Dec 13, 2018, to the EC was invalid because it did not adhere to the provisions of Section 37(1)(a)(i) and (ii) of the Election Offences Act 1954.

The particular section refers to ‘whether any corrupt or illegal practice has or has not been proved to have been committed by or with the knowledge and consent of any candidate at the election, or by his agent, and the nature of such corrupt or illegal practice, if any; and the names and descriptions of all persons, if any, who have been proved at the trial to have been guilty of any corrupt or illegal practice’.

Sivarraajh also sought a declaration that the EC decision was invalid and suppressive against him, and claimed general and special damages.

The EC announced on Dec 28 that Sivarraajh was ineligible to contest the Cameron Highlands by-election. The Election Court had, on Nov 30 last year, annulled Sivarraajh’s victory in the constituency in the 14th general election after establishing that there was vote-buying during the election campaign. Sivarraajh did not appeal the decision.

The EC has set nomination for the by-election on Jan 12, early voting on Jan 22 and polling on Jan 26.

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