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Published: Wednesday December 9, 2009 MYT 12:21:00 PMUpdated: Wednesday December 9, 2009 MYT 6:14:29 PM
KUALA LUMPUR: The “enticement” case involving celebrity Daphne Iking has been stayed after defendant Darren Choy Khin Ming applied to refer seven constitutional questions to the High Court.
Choy’s counsel Jagjit Singh applied for a stay on the proceedings saying there were questions relating to the Federal Constitution and Section 498 of the Penal code which had to be referred to the High Court for determination.
Among the questions were whether Section 498 of the Penal Code was an unequal law as it imposed criminal liability on the male party only and was, therefore, in breach of the equality provisions of the Federal Constitution, and whether the provision was inherently discriminatory of the male sex.
Choy also wanted the High Court to determine whether “Section 498 carried an inherently unreasonable classification as it was predicated on the pre-modernistic assumption that women were mere chattels and incapable of a rational choice as to their male companionship”.
“The applicant disputes the constitutional validity of Section 498 of the Penal Code.
“The said questions have all a direct bearing on the constitutional legality of the present proceedings are just and appropriate for determination under the High Court,” he said.
Magistrate Zaki Ashraf Zubir then granted the stay order pending instructions from the High Court.
Iking’s husband – Ryan Chong Yiing Yih – and Choy are embroiled in a legal battle with the former accusing Choy of “enticing or taking away or detaining with a criminal intent a married woman”, a crime under Section 498 of the Penal Code.
If found guilty, he can be jailed up to two years, fined or both.
Only Choy was present in court.
Heading the prosecution on behalf of Chong is lawyer Wong Kian Kheong, while lawyers Jagjit and Akbardin Abdul Kader stood for Choy.
Iking’s counsel Ravi Nekoo, was present to hold a watching brief.
Also pending in the High Court is Choy’s appeal against magistrate Mohd Faizi Che Abu’s ruling on Aug 21 not to allow the case to be tried by another magistrate.
The matter is fixed for case management on Dec 17.
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