LTTE: Three High Courts to hear submissions about Section 13 of Sosma

Three High Courts where the hearings of three people including two state assemblymen are being conducted in connection to charges connected to the LTTE terrorist group will decide if the three are bound to a separate High Court decision that Section 13 of Sosma was unconstitutional. — Reuters pic
Three High Courts where the hearings of three people including two state assemblymen are being conducted in connection to charges connected to the LTTE terrorist group will decide if the three are bound to a separate High Court decision that Section 13 of Sosma was unconstitutional. — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 16 — Three High Courts where the hearings of three people including two state assemblymen are being conducted in connection to charges connected to the LTTE terrorist group will decide if the three are bound to a separate High Court decision that Section 13 of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (Sosma) was unconstitutional.

The High Court will listen to the submissions from the accused’s counsel and the Deputy Public Prosecutor before handing out a verdict.

Judiciary Commissioner Datuk Ahmad Shahrir Mohd Salleh has set Jan 24 to listen to the submissions while Judge Datuk Muhammad Jamil Hussin and Judge Collin Lawrence Sequerah both set it for Jan 23.

All three High Courts had previously set today for the bail application by Seremban Jaya state assembly P. Gunasekaren, 60, Gadek state assemblyman G. Saminathan, 35, and DAP member V. Suresh Kumar, 44.

On November 29, Judge Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali ruled that Section 13 of the Security Offences (Special Measures) Act 2012 (SOSMA) was unconstitutional and contrary to Section 121(1) of the Federal Constitution because it divests from the courts the judicial discretionary power to evaluate whether or not to grant or refuse bail.

Judge Ahmad Shahrir who heard Saminathan’s case said he wanted to listen to the submission if the court was bound to Judge Mohd Nazlan’s decision.

“Please submit further on this issue to assist me on the effect of declaration (by Judge Mohd Nazlan) “ he said.

Judge Sequerah who heard Suresh Kumar’s case also wanted all parties to present their submission on the same issue.

Meanwhile, Judge Muhammad Jamil said a decision made by a High Court was not binding on other High Courts due to the same status and that court was only bound by a decision made by a higher court such as the Appeals Court and the Federal Court.

The three accused as applicants were represented by counsel Ramkarpal Singh while Deputy Public Prosecutors Mohd Saifuddin Hashim Musaimi and Low Qin Hui acted for the prosecution.

Previously, Ramkarpal said the prosecution did not appeal against Judge Mohd Nazlan decision which made Section 13 of SOSMA ineffective.

“We take the stance that Section 13 SOSMA had been struck out as unconstitutional by Judge Mohd Nazlan, that remains in place unless it is set aside on appeal (to the Court of Appeal and Federal Court),” he said.

Mohd Saifuddin said Attorney-General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas had issued a statement that the Attorney-General’s Chambers would not appeal against Judge Mohd Nazlan decision.

“This means that it is the stand of the Attorney-General is that Section 13 of SOSMA is unconstitutional. The prosecution will conduct each application for bail based on merit according to the Federal Constitution,” he said.

The three accused and nine other men had been charged in separate Sessions Courts here and in several states in October last year for allegedly having links with LTTE, including giving support, possessing and distributing items connected to the terrorist group.

No pleas were recorded from all accused when they were charged in the Sessions Courts and their cases have been transferred to the High Court here for hearing.

Besides Saminathan, the others are Seremban Jaya assemblyman P. Gunasekaran, 60; taxi driver V. Balamurugan, 37; postman, S. Teeran, 38; scrap metal trader A. Kalaimughilan, 28; a chief executive officer of a corporation, S. Chandru, 38; technician S. Arivainthan, 27; storekeeper S.Thanagaraj, 26; security guard M. Pumugan, 29; national secondary school teacher in Telok Panglima Garang, Selangor, Sundram Renggan @ Rengasamy, 52; DAP member V. Suresh Kumar, 43, and businessman B. Subramaniam, 57. — Bernama

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