Haris Ibrahim's sedition case to be heard in Sessions court

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court ordered political activist Haris Ibrahim's sedition case be heard in the Sessions Court.

In allowing the prosecution's preliminary objection, Justice Kamardin Hashim on Friday dismissed Haris' attempt to strike out the charge.

“I agree that the High Court has jurisdiction to decide if the matter is unconstitutional as it has vast powers.

“However, let the matter run its course in the Sessions Court. If matters of constitution arise, so will Section 30 (of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964),” ruled Justice Kamardin.

Section 30(1) of the COJA allows a subordinate court, such as a Sessions Court, to refer constitutional questions raised before it to the High Court.

Haris was charged with four others with uttering seditious words at a public forum at the Kuala Lumpur and Selangor Chinese Assembly Hall in Jalan Maharaja Lela between 8.55pm and 11.15pm on May 13, last year.

DPP Yusaini Amir Abd Karim earlier submitted that since the matter started at the Sessions Court, so the strike out application should be heard by the same Sessions judge.

Counsel Gobind Singh Deo argued the strike out application was not a constitutional challenge, instead questioning the validity of the Sedition Act based on how it was enacted.

He said that since the Sedition Act was not enacted by parliament, the fact that it restricts freedom of expression should render it void. Thus anyone charged under a void law should have their charges struck out.

The High Court allowed Gobind’s application for a stay of proceedings in the Sessions Court, pending an appeal against the court’s decision to allow the preliminary objection.


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