KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court will decide today whether or not to accept preliminary objections that it has no jurisdiction in the matter of former Batu MP Tian Chua’s (pic) eligibility to contest in the general election.
The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) maintains that authority to question the returning officer’s decision on Chua only rests with an election judge hearing an election petition.
In raising the AGC’s preliminary objection to the originating summons filed by Chua, Senior Federal Counsel Datuk Amarjeet Singh said that according to election laws, the decision of the returning officer is considered final and conclusive for election purposes, and may not be called in question in any court.
The only way to challenge rejection of nomination papers is by way of an election petition, he said, adding that “the applicant has no jurisdiction to come to this court as the case comes under electoral matters”.
PKR vice-president Chua is seeking to reverse the Election Commission’s (EC) decision to disqualify him from contesting the Batu parliamentary seat.
Datuk Gurdial Singh Nijar, who acted for Chua, said his client was not challenging the election’s status but seeking a declaration on his legal status.
“That is why an election petition is irrelevant. He comes to this court for a relief and he cannot go to the election court,” he said.
This was why the action was in the form of an originating summons and not any other mode, such as an election petition, he added.
The respondents in this case are the returning officer Anwar Md Zain and the EC.
On Monday, Chua filed a suit to reverse the rejection of his nomination last Saturday.
In rejecting Chua’s nomination, Anwar had stated that election rules disqualified the nominee on account of a previous RM2,000 fine imposed by the court.
Chua also sought a declaration that he is entitled to contest and be nominated for the seat.
Anwar had said he was advised by the EC to disqualify Chua’s nomination because of the RM2,000 fine imposed in a 2017 court case.
The sentence was in relation to his conviction for insulting the modesty of a police officer by using foul language four years ago.
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