Court to hear application over constitutionality of Sedition Act on March 19

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 10 Jan 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: A Sessions Court here has fixed March 19 to hear an application by Padang Serai MP N. Surendran, lawyer Eric Paulsen and cartoonist Zunar to refer constitutional questions to the court about the Sedition Act 1948.

Judge Zaman Mohd Noor fixed the date when the case was mentioned before him on Wednesday (Dec 10).

Lawyer Latheefa Koya, who acted for the applicants, said they made the application under Section 30 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964.

Latheefa said since the Federal Court had not resolved the question of "intention" by ruling that it must be proven under the Sedition Act, they could in fact proceed with the issue.

However, the Federal Court on Monday (Jan 8) quashed the landmark decision by the Court of Appeal declaring Section 3(3) of the Sedition Act as unconstitutional.

In their decision, a five-member Federal Court bench quashed the 2016 landmark decision, ruling that intention must be proven in every sedition case.

The latest decision means that the law has reverted to its previous position, and it only needs to be proven that the accused had made the seditious statement, without the need to prove the intention.

On Apr 3, 2015, Zunar, whose real name is Zulkiflee Anwar Haque, pleaded not guilty to nine charges of sedition for allegedly insulting the judiciary in tweets made in relation to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's conviction in the Sodomy 2 case.

In Surendran's case, he claimed trial on Aug 19 2014 to releasing an allegedly seditious press statement entitled "Court of Appeal's Fitnah 2 written judgement is flawed, defensive and insupportable".

Meanwhile, Paulsen, who is also Lawyers for Liberty executive director, pleaded not guilty on Feb 5, 2015 to publishing allegedly seditious words on his Twitter account claiming that extremism was being promoted in the country.

The three were charged under Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act.

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