PUTRAJAYA, Dec 7 — The Federal Court today upheld a 34-year old Sabahan man’s release from detention under the preventive law.

A three-member bench led by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat held that the explanation given by the officer over the delay of 36 days to submit the report to the Home Minister, in recommending or otherwise for further detention, was unsatisfactory.

The bench which also comprises Federal Court judges Datuk Seri Mohd Zawawi Salleh and Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan dismissed the appeal by the deputy home minister and the senior enforcer of the Simpang Renggam Behavioural Rehabilitation Centre to reinstate Awang Sari Lasikan’s detention.

In the court’s decision, Justice Tengku Maimun said records show that after Awang Sari’s fourth day of detention, there were no further investigations ensued, therefore there was no reason to delay the submission of the report.

She said the officers who are in charge of making the report were required to prioritise those cases because the liberty of the individuals, whose rights as a citizen are entitled to full recognition under the Federal Constitution, must be respected.

Justice Tengku Maimun said if excessive time was taken over the production of the report, it would affect the duration of the detention time, adding that if the report was issued early, the Home Minister may decide not to issue further orders and the person would be released immediately.

She, however, disagreed with the High Court which decided that Awang Sari’s detention order signed under the name “Muhyiddin” instead of the name on the MyKad and the Federal Government gazette, Mahiaddin Md Yassin was defective.

“We do not agree with the judicial commissioner.  We are of the view that there is merit in the Home Ministry’s contention on this point as there was only one Home Minister of Affairs at the material time.

The Pagoh Member of Parliament who was assuming the role of the Home Minister shortly after the change in government from Pakatan Harapan to Perikatan Nasional, had signed on the detention order under the name “Muhyiddin”, instead of the name on his MyKad and the Federal Government gazette, Mahiaddin Md Yassin.

In April this year, the Shah Alam High Court judicial commissioner Norsharidah Awang allowed the habeas corpus application filed by Awang Sari and ordered for his release from detention after ruling that the detention order signed under the name Muhyiddin was defective and void.

Awang Sari, who was detained under Section 6(1) of the Dangerous Drugs (Special Preventive Measures) Act, had filed a habeas corpus application, to seek his immediate release from detention through a notice of motion dated Sept 10, 2020. — Bernama