Hornbill Unleashed

May 30, 2017

Maria Chin to file appeal tomorrow in travel ban case

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:01 AM

Maria-ChinBersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah, who failed to get the remedies sought after she was stopped from leaving Malaysia last year, will file her appeal tomorrow.

Lawyer Gurdial Singh Nijar said Maria’s notice of appeal would be filed in the High Court in Kuala Lumpur and a copy would be extended to the Court of Appeal.

“We have 30 days from May 18 to lodge the appeal but we are doing it much earlier,” he said.

According to procedure, trial judge Nik Hasmat Nik Mohamad now has to prepare the written grounds and Maria’s lawyer would have to later submit a memorandum of appeal, outlining where she had gone wrong in her findings.

“This to facilitate the Court of Appeal to hear the appeal,” he said.

On May 18, Nik Hazmat ruled that an amendment to the Immigration Act does not allow the courts to hear complaints from citizens who are banned from travelling overseas.

As such, the judge said she could not provide the remedy sought by Maria who was stopped from going to South Korea to receive an award on behalf of Bersih.

“The ouster clause in Section 59A of the Immigration Act has prevented aggrieved citizens the right to judicial review,” the judge said in dismissing the suit brought by Maria.

She said Section 59 of the legislation further allowed the respondents – the home minister and the Immigration director-general – the right not to give reasons why such a ban was being imposed except for procedural non-compliance.

She said it was also the government’s discretion to issue passports to its citizens.

Maria, in her application, claimed that she was informed of her travel ban just shortly before she was to board a flight to South Korea on May 15 last year, at the Kuala Lumpur International Airport.

In her court papers dated July 28, Maria had applied to quash the decision made by the respondents to blacklist her from travelling abroad.

Maria had applied to get a declaration that the respondents did not have the power to reach the decision and had, therefore, acted in excess of their jurisdiction.

Nik Azmat’s ruling received a sharp rebuke from retired Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram who said any ouster clause in the Immigration Act was null and void because it removed the citizen’s right of access to justice,

He said the right of access to justice had now been accepted by the courts as a fundamental right protected by the constitution.

Sri Ram said Nik Azmat had also refused to follow a recent Federal Court judgment delivered by Justice Zainun Ali which had re-established the concept of judicial power, a sacrosanct principle in a functioning democracy.

Source : FMT Online by V Anbalagan



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