KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Bar and its office bearers have sued the police and the government for alleged wrongful detention when they were barred from proceeding with their "Walk For Judicial Independence" to Parliament on June 17.
The walk was organised as a peaceful protest against the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's (MACC) investigations into Court of Appeal judge Justice Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, who convicted former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the SRC International Sdn Bhd case.
The four office bearers are Bar president Karen Cheah, vice-president Mohamad Ezri Abdul Wahab, secretary Anand Raj R. Balasupramaniam and treasurer Murshidah Mustafa, who filed the writ of summons through Messrs Amerbon in the High Court here on Oct 20.
They named Noor Dellhan Yahaya (in his capacity as the officer in charge of the Dang Wangi police district), Nuzulan Mohd Din (in his capacity as the head of criminal investigation at the Dang Wangi district headquarters), the police, the Inspector-General of Police, the Home Minister and the government of Malaysia as the first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth defendants respectively.
According to the statement of claim, the plaintiffs said about 500 members of the Malaysian Bar assembled peacefully at Padang Merbok for the march between 7.45am and 10am on June 17, where they planned to march to Parliament to submit a memorandum to the then deputy minister (Parliament and Law) in the Prime Minister's Department, Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.
The plaintiffs said the police had placed plastic barriers around Padang Merbok to prevent the participants from entering or passing through.
After speeches by Bar members on stage, around 10.35am, the participants tried to march to Parliament but were stopped by police who formed a human chain and prevented the march.
The plaintiffs claimed that the participants were falsely restrained and imprisoned between 10.35am and 11.15am by the defendants, when they were forcibly confined at the Padang Merbok car park within the barricades constructed by police under the direction of the first defendant.
As a result, the plaintiffs claimed to have suffered loss of freedom for 40 minutes, and their constitutional rights under Articles 5, 8, 9 and 10 of the Federal Constitution were violated.
They further claimed that the defendants breached their statutory duties under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 and committed misfeasance in public office.
The plaintiffs are claiming special damages of RM19,449, and unspecified general, aggravated and exemplary damages as well as other reliefs deemed fit by the court.
Case management has been fixed on Jan 12.