KUALA LUMPUR: The Election Court rejected an objection by lawyer Datuk Zaid Ibrahim and will hear an application by Hulu Selangor MP P. Kamalanathan to strike out the former’s petition.
Justice Datuk Azahar Mohamed ruled an election judge had the inherent power to dismiss or dispose off the petition if it was defective.
The court made the ruling after hearing a preliminary issue raised by Zaid, also the Federal Territory PKR chief, on the power of an election judge in disposing off his election petition.
Zaid, 59, had filed an election petition on May 24, claiming there was bribery during the Hulu Selangor by-election on Aug 25 last year.
Sitting as election judge, Justice Azahar set today to hear the merits of Kamalanathan’s application to strike out Zaid’s petition.
The judge also fixed today to hear the preliminary objection by the Election Commission (EC), named as respondent in the petition.
Zaid had named Kamalanathan, Hulu Selangor parliamentary constituency returning officer Nor Hisham Ahmad Dahlan and the EC as respondents in his petition to strike out the results of the by-election in which Barisan Nasional’s Kamalanathan defeated Zaid by a 1,725-vote majority.
In response, Kamalanathan filed the notice of motion on July 1, asking that Zaid’s petition be struck out on the grounds that it disclosed no reasonable cause of action.
He argued Zaid had failed to identify the purported persons to whom the alleged promises were made, and that the PKR leader also failed to give particulars to show that they were registered voters of Hulu Selangor, and how the alleged bribery had so extensively prevailed that it was supposed to have affected the election results.
Yesterday, Zaid’s lawyer Azhar Azizan Harun raised a preliminary objection, saying that an election judge was not vested with the power to dispose off the petition by way of a striking-out application or preliminary objection.
Azhar added that Election Offences Act 1954 also required a disposal of petition only through a trial, which shall be completed within six months.
Kamalanathan’s lawyer Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin argued the objection by Zaid was baseless and without merit.
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