Gombak voters fail in bid to reinstate suit against Azmin

PUTRAJAYA: Ten Gombak voters have failed in a bid for leave from the Federal Court to pursue an appeal to reinstate their lawsuit against Gombak MP Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali (pic) for alleged deceit and breach of fiduciary duty.

A three-member panel led by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed dismissed their application here on Tuesday (Sept 27).

In the court's unanimous decision, Justice Azahar said the legal questions proposed by the voters' lawyer for determination of the Federal Court did not fulfil the threshold requirement of Section 96 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964.

ALSO READ: Azmin Ali wins appeal to throw out voters' suit for alleged deceit

He did not make any order as to costs, saying that the matter was a public interest case.

The other two judges on the panel were Federal Court judges Datuk Vernon Ong Lam Kiat and Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang.

In the court proceeding conducted online, lawyer K.Shanmuga, representing the voters, proposed four legal questions, contending that the issues involved whether or not an MP who had made representations during the election could go against promises made.

ALSO READ: Ten in bid to reinstate suit against Azmin

Mohamed Azmin's counsel Muhammad Nizamuddin Abdul Hamid countered, saying that leave should not be granted.

In order for an applicant to get leave to pursue an appeal to the Federal Court, they must convince the court by framing novel legal and constitutional questions of public importance and raised for the first time, as required under Section 96 of the Courts of Judicature Act.

The voters wanted their suit against Mohamed Azmin to be reinstated and remitted back to the High Court for trial.

The suit was struck out by the Court of Appeal on April 13 after it allowed Mohamed Azmin's appeal.

The 10 voters sued Mohamed Azmin, who is the International Trade and Industry Minister, for alleged deceit and breach of fiduciary duty as their MP through the "Sheraton Move" that caused the Pakatan Harapan government to collapse in February 2020.

In their statement of claim, the voters sought, among others, a declaration that Mohamed Azmin, as the Gombak MP, had breached his fiduciary obligations, deceived them during the election in the constituency, and also breached the representation made to them.

They sought damages including aggravated and exemplary damages, interests, costs and other orders deemed fit by the court.

ALSO READ: Gombak voters sue Azmin for alleged deceit

On June 30 last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court dismissed Mohamed Azmin's application to strike out the suit, prompting him to appeal to the Court of Appeal which subsequently decided in his favour.

In his application, Mohamed Azmin contended that the suit violated his fundamental right to freedom of association as provided for under Article 10 Clause (1) (c) of the Federal Constitution.

Also representing the voters were A. Surendra Ananth and Yohendra Nadarajan, while Mohamed Azmin was also represented by Nurul Najwa Zainuddin. – Bernama

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