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Thursday April 2, 2009

New judge to hear ‘Nizar vs Zambry’ case

KUALA LUMPUR: A new High Court judge will hear the leave application by former Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin challenging the legitimacy of his successor.

Justice Aziz Abdul Rahim replaced Justice Lau Bee Lan in the proceedings yesterday. He is the third judge to hear the application for judicial review.

Justice Aziz ordered Senior Federal Counsel Datuk Kamaluddin Md Said to hand over written submissions to Nizar’s lead counsel Sulaiman Abdullah for smooth hearing of the leave application.

“If there are any additional points, you can submit today,” he told Kamaluddin, who is the Attorney-General’s Chambers representative.

“If the leave application could be decided on Friday, then the trial (for judicial review) can proceed next week,” he said.

At the outset of the proceedings, Kamaluddin said he had received instructions to raise an objection over the leave application and was prepared to submit his arguments.

Sulaiman said he had yet to receive a notice from Kamaluddin over the objection and needed to study their grounds in the ex-parte application.

In his suit filed on Feb 13, Nizar is challenging the legitimacy of Perak Mentri Besar Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and the new state government.

Nizar sought to get a declaration that he is the rightful Mentri Besar of Perak, and an injunction to bar Dr Zambry from discharging his duties as the Mentri Besar.

On March 6, Justice Lau ruled that there were matters for interpretation of Article 16(6) of the Perak Constitution and referred the case to the Federal Court. She stayed the leave proceedings for judicial review.

On March 10, Justice Lau pronounced four questions of law in respect to the Perak Constitution for determination by the apex court.

However, on March 23, the Federal Court remitted the case back to the High Court.

On Feb 25, High Court Judicial Commissioner Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof recused himself from hearing the judicial review based on the principles of justice.

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