SEREMBAN: The High Court here has struck out an election petition challenging the Rembau parliamentary seat results which Umno Youth deputy chief Khairy Jamaluddin won in the March 8 general election.
Justice Datuk Mohtaruddin Baki dismissed the petition with costs, saying that there were too many defects in the petition filed by PKR supreme council member Badrul Hisham Shaharin, also known as Chegu Bard, on April 25.
“There were many allegations made. To me, all the petitioner was doing was to cast his net wide enough, hoping to strike something,” he said in his ruling.
Khairy had polled 26,525 votes in the elections, defeating Badrul by 5,746votes.
Khairy was making his electoral debut while Badrul had previously contested the Rantau state seat in 2004 and lost.
Mohtaruddin said the petitioner had also failed to prove that any alleged irregularity by the Election Commission or its agents could have changed the outcome of the results.
“It is not enough for you to say that there was an irregularity. The petitioner, in this instance, failed to prove that the alleged irregularity could have changed the election results,” he said.
“These twin requirements are a must. To me, the petitioner failed to provide evidence to sustain any of the allegations he had made.”
Badrul had named Khairy and the Election Commission as the first and second respondents respectively.
Mohtaruddin said the petitioner failed to comply with the mandatory requirement of Rule 4(4) of the Election Petition Rules 1954, on the basis that it did not have any grounds as required under Section 32 of the Election Offences Act 1954.
(Section 32, among other things, states that an election result can only be annulled if there was bribery, intimidation, non-compliance with the relevant laws, that the candidate had engaged an agent/canvasser who was ineligible, or if the candidate was himself ineligible to contest).
Badrul had filed his petition based on four grounds:
> That the total number of ballot papers issued for the parliamentary seat did not tally with the total number of ballot papers issued for the four State Legislative Assembly seats, the alleged discrepancy being 745 ballot papers;
> That there were various irregularities in the issuance and handling of Form 14 (as required in the First Schedule of the Elections (Conduct of Election) Regulations 1981) after the counting process was done;
> That he was not given a copy of Form 15 (as required under the First Schedule of the Elections (Conduct of Elections) regulations 1981) on the number of postal votes received by the candidates; and
> That Election Commission agents had failed to ensure Khairy and his agents adhered to all rulings pertaining to the elections.
Mohtaruddin said the petitioner had also failed to submit three copies of the petition to the court registry as required. Only one copy was submitted.
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