GE14: High Court sets May 4 for decision on Tian Chua's disqualification suit

  • Nation
  • Thursday, 03 May 2018

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has set Friday (May 4) to hand down its decision on PKR vice-president Tian Chua's bid to reverse the Election Commission's (EC) decision to disqualify him from contesting the Batu parliamentary seat.

High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Justice Nordin Hassan fixed the date after hearing submissions from the parties named here on Thursday (May 3).

On Monday (April 30), Tian Chua, whose real name is Chua Tian Chang, filed a suit to reverse the rejection of his nomination to contest for the Batu parliamentary constituency.

The suit, filed at the High Court Wednesday morning, named election returning officer Anwar Md Zain and the Election Commission (EC) as respondents.

Anwar had rejected Chua's nomination last Saturday (April 28), stating that election rules disqualified him on account of a previous RM2,000 fine imposed by the courts.

Chua, who has held the Batu parliamentary seat since 2008, sought a declaration that he is qualified to run for the seat in GE14 under Article 48(1)(e) of the Federal Constitution.

He also sought a declaration that he is entitled to contest and be nominated for the seat.

In a supplementary affidavit filed, Chua said he had no issue with an RM2,000 fine in GE13, nor had it impeded him from acting as an MP over the previous term.

Justice Nordin will decide on Friday whether to accept preliminary objections raised by the Attorney-General's Chambers.

During proceedings, the Attorney-General's Chambers' lawyer SFC Amarjeet Singh submitted that Chua has no jurisdiction to come to court as the case comes under electoral matters.

Amarjeet added that the case has to be heard in an election court.

On April 28, Chua's nomination was rejected by Anwar, who said he was advised by the EC to disqualify the nomination due to the RM2,000 fine imposed in a 2017 court case.

The sentence was in relation to his conviction over insulting the modesty of a police officer by using foul language four years ago.

The decision to disqualify Chua was made according to Section 7(1)(c) of the Elections (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981, read together with Article 48(1)(e).

Anwar read the law which stated "not less than RM2,000" to mean Chua would only be qualified to contest should the fine be RM1,999.99 or less.

In contrast the Shah Alam High Court which allowed Chua's appeal to reduce the fine from RM3,000 to RM2,000, explicitly spelled out that the MP would only be disqualified if "the fine was RM2,001 and above, and not from RM2,000".

Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia had in 2011 also ruled that Chua would remain as Batu MP and that the RM2,000 fine would not automatically remove him from his role.

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