Sacked cadet officer sues varsity

KUALA LUMPUR: A former cadet officer is suing a public university for stopping her studies because she got married.

Nurul Shamimi Zainul Ariffin obtained leave from the High Court to apply to quash the decision by Universiti Pertahanan Nasional Malaysia (UPNM).

High Court judge Justice Asmabi Mohamad granted the leave for the judicial review application yesterday.

Nurul Shamimi, 23, had applied to review the university’s decision to terminate her studies on grounds that she breached a no-marriage clause.

She was studying for her bachelor’s degree in medical sciences at the university after being offered a scholarship by the Defence Ministry on Sept 4, 2011, while she held the rank of cadet officer.

Nurul Shamimi claimed that on Aug 15 last year, she and 17 other cadet officers were called before a tribunal chaired by Mej-Jen Datuk Azizan Md Delin over accusations that they broke the no-marriage clause.

She claimed the tribunal did not give the cadets a chance to defend themselves and even lambasted those who spoke up, saying “Who are you to ask, you don't deserve to ask questions”.

On Oct 27, the Armed Forces Council dismissed her as a cadet officer for breaking the no-marriage clause and subsequently, the university dropped her as a student.

Nurul Shamimi was also told to repay RM83,998.66 of the scholarship.

In the judicial review application filed on Jan 23, Nurul Shamimi named UPNM and the Armed Forces Council as defendants.

Nurul Shamimi is contesting the tribunal’s inquiry proceedings, claiming they were flawed because no charge was read, no witnesses were called and no evidence from a syariah court was produced to prove that the accused cadets were married.

Nurul Shamimi argued that marriage is a basic human right and an essential aspect of her religion; and to dismiss her for being married is discriminatory and robs her of the right to education.

She is seeking a declaration to annul the council's decision to dismiss her and to demand the RM83,998.66 scholarship to be paid back.

Nurul Shamimi is seeking a certiorari order to quash the decision to terminate her studies.

She sought a mandamus order to compel the university to allow her to complete her degree and for the council to reinstate the scholarship and her rank as cadet officer.

Nurul Shamimi is also seeking general, aggravated, and exemplary damages.

The High Court fixed May 6 for next case management.

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