KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 1 — Lawyer Siti Kasim is now seeking a court order before initiating a lawsuit against the Federal Territories Islamic Department (Jawi) over the latter's April raid of an event involving transgenders.
Siti's lawyer Arina Ong said her client had to resort to going to the court to ask for information on the raid and raiding officers — which will be necessary for a lawsuit to be filed against Jawi, as the latter had failed to respond to legal letters.
"We are looking for a court order because we have already sent a letter of demand and letter to Jawi to seek all these information, but they didn't reply anything," she told Malay Mail Online when contacted today.
Ong was referring to a June letter of demand seeking Jawi's apology and payment of damages to Siti and a September 14 letter asking Jawi for information.
"So that's why we are seeking a court order for them to release the information so we can proceed with the writ of summons against them," she added.
Ong said she had filed on October 20 the application for the court order for pre-trial information to be provided by Jawi, adding that the document was served on Jawi and was accepted by an authorised officer from the Islamic body on October 25.
However when the matter came up for case management today in the Kuala Lumpur High Court, no lawyer showed up for Jawi, she said.
The next case management for Siti's application will be on November 16.
According to Siti's application sighted by Malay Mail Online, she said it was "necessary and desirable" for the requested information and documents to be disclosed in the "interests of justice".
She said her application was relevant to the issues that she will be raising in her lawsuit and for identification of those who she will be suing, adding that it was likely that such information was in Jawi's possession, custody or power.
She added that Jawi's failure, refusal or negligence to provide such information would cause an adverse effect to her lawsuit.
In her application, Siti seeks seven points of information on Jawi’s April 3 raid of an event at the Renaissance Hotel in Kuala Lumpur, including the names and ranks of Jawi’s enforcement officers who had carried out the raid and arrested her then.
She also wants Jawi to produce any police reports it has lodged against and its reports on her arrest, as well as any warrants or any other documents authorising Jawi and its enforcement officers to conduct the raid and to arrest and detain her in that incident.
In Sit’s affidavit to support her application, she said she was present as an invited guest at the closed-door dinner event which was later raided by Jawi officers who did not state the reason for their intrusion, adding that they had sought to detain all present at the dinner without informing them of their alleged offence.
Siti said she had identified herself as a lawyer but Jawi’s enforcement officers did not respond then to her queries on the alleged offence that led to the raid, adding that these officers who were unaccompanied by the police failed to show any arrest warrants.
She said one of Jawi’s enforcement officers finally told her the alleged offence was the organising of a beauty pageant, but the officers failed to state any legal provision for this and had ignored her attempts to explain that the event was a dinner.
“One of the defendant’s enforcement officers then told me that I have been arrested and I am required to follow the defendant’s enforcement officers, without being told of the offence that I had committed or the place where I would be brought to,” she said, adding that she was forced into Jawi’s van without her consent.
Claiming that Jawi’s officers had abused their powers by bringing her to the Dang Wangi police station, Siti said she was asked to wait for several hours without being told the nature of her alleged offence.
“Only after my lawyer and I repeatedly asked, the defendant’s enforcement officers said that I am actually not under arrest and therefore I am allowed to leave the police station,” she said.
Jawi will have to reply to Siti’s affidavit by November 8, Ong said today.
In April, Siti had said that she was considering suing Jawi for wrongful arrest.