GEORGE TOWN: A former PKR assemblyman who refused to pay a parking summons issued by the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) has won his case in court but there is no reason for other motorists to celebrate.
The council said the case did not apply to others who had been issued summonses for a similar offence as each case had it “own facts and merits”.
It said in a statement that all the summonses issued by the council under the parking rules were still being enforced and offenders will be prosecuted if they fail to settle them.
The MBPP said it was untrue that it did not have the right to issue parking summonses as alleged in social media messages that had gone viral.
“We will appeal against the decision to acquit and discharge the accused,” the council said.
Lawyer S. Raveentharan, a former Batu Uban assemblyman, was let off the hook after the court declared the summons issued to him three years ago was invalid.
Magistrate Mohamad Amin Shahul Hamid said the prosecution failed to prove a prima facie case against Raveentharan.
He said there were several technical issues with regards to the case. “The prosecution failed to obtain the accused’s signature when serving the summons on him.
“The accused was not informed of the offence and he was not allowed to make representations when the summons was issued,” he said, adding that he would bring up other technical issues in the written judgment in due course.
MBPP officer Noorazrein Norazlan Ong, who represented the council, told the court that he would be pursuing another parking summons case against Raveentharan.
Mohamad Amin said he could not stop the council from pursuing the case but the judgement would remain the same.
Raveentharan was issued a summons for allegedly parking outside of a designated lot in Jalan Tun Syed Sheh Barakbah on March 11, 2014, at 10.38am.
He claimed trial to the charge on Sept 15 last year under Article 5(1) of the Road Transport Act and the Road Transport Order (Car Parks) MPPP 2014, punishable under Article 50 of the same order. The offence carries a fine of up to RM1,000.
Outside the court, his lawyer Datuk Baljit Singh said the test case would open doors for Penangites to challenge the local council on technical grounds.
“Based on the decision, the MBPP does not have the right to issue summons in this manner,” said Baljit who is also Gerakan legal bureau chairman.
“The people have a right to challenge the summons. It is up to them if they want to take it to court and challenge the summons based on technicality,” he said.
Baljit said in his client’s case, the prosecution could not prove it was Raveentharan who had parked the car.
“They failed to give him a chance to explain. A summons was issued to him because he owned the car,” he said.
Commenting on the court decision, State Local Government Committee chairman Chow Kon Yeow said he was sure the council would take note of the decision and study whether an appeal would be made.