Nod for comedy club to challenge DBKL’s decision

KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court has granted leave for Crackhouse Comedy Club’s co-owners to challenge the Kuala Lumpur City Hall’s (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 leave to Rizal Van Geyzel and Shankar R. Santhiram to initiate their judicial review against DBKL in a proceeding conducted in-chambers yesterday.

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

Mohamad Rizal Johan Van Geyzel, and Shankar filed the legal action on Nov 24, 2022, and named the DBKL, Kuala Lumpur Mayor Datuk Seri Mahadi Che Ngah, then Federal Territories deputy 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 for banning them from registering any business in Kuala Lumpur permanently even under another name and company, unconstitutional.T

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 last year, Jalaluddin had issued a statement 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. The club’s co-owners said this decision had severely affected them as entrepreneurs.

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

Lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo, who represented Rizal and Shankar, told reporters that the plaintiffs had withdrawn the third, fourth and fifth defendants from the suit.

“We have withdrawn for the (three) defendants because the decision was made by the mayor.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 papers and made by the (then) deputy minister but the decision was not made by him (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. June 6 has been fixed for case management.

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