PUTRAJAYA: The hearing of a motion to stay the inquest into the death of fireman Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim has been adjourned to a later date.
The motion will now be heard together with the appeal by the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple task force to be an interested party in the inquest; and the motion by the Attorney General’s Chambers to strike out the application to stay and to dismiss the appeal proper by the task force.
The Court of Appeal adjourned the hearing that was to take place yesterday to give time for lawyers representing the task force, led by counsel M. Visvanathan, to reply to two affidavits recently filed by lawyer Syazlin Mansor, who is representing the Housing and Local Government Ministry, the Fire and Rescue Department and Muhammad Adib’s family, and lawyer Mohd Kamaruzaman A. Wahab, who is representing Muhammad Adib’s family.
The affidavits by Syazlin and Kamaruzaman were filed to support the AG’s Chambers’ motion in opposing the stay application.
Visvanathan told the court that they only received the two affidavits yesterday morning.
The three-member bench, led by Justice Umi Kalthum Abdul Majid, adjourned the hearing to give time to Visvanathan to reply to the affidavits.
“We’ll adjourn both motions for a later date to be fixed, to be heard together with appeal.
“Parties in the meantime are allowed to file any further affidavit deemed necessary,” said Umi Kalthum.
Visvanathan, meanwhile, claimed that the affidavits by Syazlin and Kamaruzaman were unprecedented in Malaysia’s legal history.
“This is unprecedented; it should not be allowed.
“They can sit in agreement with the AG’s Chambers privately, but they cannot file an affidavit, as it gives the impression that they are against us being in the inquest and that raises questions,” he told reporters outside the court.
He said he would request for the appeal to be heard soon.
“We have asked for the appeal to be heard expeditiously and for the two applications to be heard together with the appeal proper,” he said.
The hearing for the motion to stay the inquest was earlier postponed on Feb 22 to yesterday by the same three-member bench, which included Justices Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal and Stephen Chung Hian Guan, to give time to the AG’s Chambers to reply to an affidavit from Visvanathan’s team.
The bench had on Feb 22 also requested Visvanathan to clarify the legal standing of the task force in bringing the action as an interested party.
The Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple task force and 50 devotees of the temple earlier failed in their bid to be an interested party and participate in the inquest, which is being held at Shah Alam Sessions Court.
Their bid was dismissed by judge Rofiah Mohamad, who sits as coroner for the inquest, and later by Shah Alam High Court judge Justice Abdul Karim Abdul Rahman.
The inquest was ordered by Attorney General Tommy Thomas in accordance with Section 339 (1) of the Criminal Procedure Code.
The inquest is scheduled to continue on March 19.
Muhammad Adib, 24, was critically injured on Nov 27 when he and his team members from the Subang Jaya fire station responded to an emergency call at the temple where riots were happening that day.
He was taken to Subang Jaya Medical Centre before being transferred to National Heart Institute (IJN) for further treatment, later passing away at IJN on Dec 17.