Federal Court to rehear Anwar's constitutional challenge over NSCA in January 2021

  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 14 Oct 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: The Federal Court has fixed Jan 7 next year to rehear a legal and constitutional challenge posed by Port Dickson MP Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim over the validity of the National Security Council Act (NSCA) 2016.

The constitutional matter was raised in Anwar’s originating summons that seeks to challenge the NSC Act on grounds that it was “unconstitutional”.

His lawyer J. Leela told the press that the date was fixed during case management, which was conducted via e-review, before Federal Court deputy registrar Azniza Mohd Ali here on Wednesday (Oct 14).

Senior Federal Counsel Mazlifah Ayob represented the government in the e-review proceedings.

Leela said no dates have been fixed for the main suit at the High Court.

On Sept 10, the Federal Court allowed Anwar’s application to review a majority decision by the apex court that declined to answer legal questions on the constitutionality of the NSCA.

The court then ordered the case to be reheard at the Federal Court.

In the application filed in March this year, Anwar as the applicant claimed that grave injustice had occurred following the court's decision not to answer his constitutional questions.

He said the government, as a respondent in the case, had taken the position that his (Anwar's) lawsuit in the High Court should be struck out without being heard.

In the notice of motion, he said there was also a serious breach of natural justice as he was not given the right to be heard on the issue of whether the constitutional questions posed were abstract, academic and hypothetical.

Anwar said the majority had decided based on an issue that was never raised by the government.

He wanted the Federal Court to set aside the majority verdict and to make an order deemed proper and just.

On Feb 11, the Federal Court in a 5-2 majority verdict declined to answer the constitutional questions raised by Anwar on the NSCA.

Federal Court judge Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan, who delivered the majority decision, held that it had not been shown that the existence of the NSCA had interfered with Anwar's personal life.

She ordered the case to be remitted to the High Court to be struck out.

In 2016, Anwar filed the originating summons to challenge the constitutionality of the NSCA, claiming that its implementation was unconstitutional.

He named the National Security Council and government as defendants.

On March 14, last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court allowed Anwar’s application under Section 84 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 to refer the matter to the Federal Court for determination of four constitutional questions.

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