Crackhouse owners get leave to challenge DBKL decision to revoke licence, permanent ban

  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 23 May 2023

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has granted leave for Crackhouse Comedy Club's co-owners to challenge the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) decision to revoke its operating licence as well as a permanent ban imposed on them from starting any businesses in the city.

Justice Amarjeet Singh granted the leave to Rizal Van Geyzel and Shankar R. Santhiram to initiate their judicial review against DBKL in a proceeding conducted in-chambers here on Tuesday (May 23).

ALSO READ: Crackhouse Comedy Club: KL High Court to hear application for review of ban on May 23

Leave granted in such an application means the court will now hear the judicial review application on its full merits.

Rizal, or his full name Mohamad Rizal Johan Van Geyzel, and Shankar filed the legal action on Nov 24, and named the DBKL, the then Kuala Lumpur mayor Datuk Seri Mahadi Che Ngah, the then deputy federal territories minister Datuk Seri Jalaluddin Alias, the then federal territories ministry, and the government as the first, second, third, fourth and fifth respondents respectively.

They are seeking a declaration that the decision to revoke the club’s licence was against the law and a declaration that the decision to ban them from registering any business in Kuala Lumpur permanently even under another name and company is unconstitutional.

ALSO READ: Comedy club owners challenge DBKL decision in court

They also requested a court order to cancel the decision on the grounds that they have a fundamental right under the Federal Constitution to conduct business with a valid licence in Kuala Lumpur.

In their supporting affidavit, they said on Aug 17, Jalaluddin had issued a statement saying that the DBKL licensing committee had decided to cancel the comedy club’s licence effective July 30 the same year and the owners were blacklisted for life from registering a business in Kuala Lumpur, adding that this decision had severely affected them as entrepreneurs.

Rizal and Shankar also claimed that they never received any official notice or letter from DBKL on the matter.

ALSO READ: DBKL bans comedy club owners for life

Lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo, who represented Rizal and Shankar, told the press that the plaintiffs had withdrawn the third, fourth and fifth defendants from the suit.

"We have withdrawn for the (three) defendants because the decision was made by the mayor. The announcement was no doubt carried in the (press) and made by the (then) deputy minister but the decision was not made by him (the deputy minister).

"For that reason, we withdrew against the third, fourth and fifth defendants but the leave was granted against the first and second defendants (DBKL and mayor)," she said.

The court has fixed June 6 for case management.

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