General & Misc

Sivarraajh fails to quash EC Decision on contesting in By-Election

Date: 10 January 2019; Type: Legal News; Source: Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 10 (Bernama) - The High Court here today dismissed an application by former Cameron Highlands MP, Datuk C. Sivarraajh to quash the decision of the Election Commission (EC) prohibiting him from contesting in the Cameron Highlands by-election or voting in any election for five years after finding him involved in a corrupt practice during the general election.

Judge Datuk Nordin Hassan held that the EC’s decision in a letter dated Dec 28, 2018 was in accordance with the law and there was no illegality or irrationality with the decision.

“Therefore, the application for a judicial review by the applicant (Sivarraajh) is dismissed with cost of RM5,000,” he said.

Nordin said the EC had made the decision after scrutinising the decision on the Election Court made on Nov 30, 2018 and the report from the Election Court judge dated Dec 13, last year in accordance with Section 37 of the Election Offences Act 1954.

He said reading the report in totality, the report had fulfilled the requirement of Section 37(1)(a)(i) and (ii) of the Election Offences Act.

“The report in totality shows that the corrupt practice had been committed with the knowledge and consent of the applicant,” he said. The judge made the ruling after hearing submissions by Sivarraajh’s counsel, A. Vasanthi and Senior Federal Counsel, Suzana Atan, acting for the EC.

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

On Dec 31 last year, Sivarraajh, 43, filed the application against the EC which was named as the sole respondent, seeking a court order to quash its 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’s decision was invalid and suppressive against him, and claimed general and special damages.

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.

MY Bernama

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