Najib’s suit irrelevant after Parliament’s dissolution, High Court told
KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak (pic) should not be allowed to challenge the Prisons Department’s refusal to let him attend Parliament as the august house has been dissolved, the High Court heard.
Senior Federal Counsel Shamsul Bolhassan said Najib’s application was now academic upon the dissolution of Parliament on Oct 10, making Najib no longer an MP.
“On this premise, the allegations and complaints which formed the basis of this judicial review application can no longer sustain and the pleaded reliefs against the respondents have become academic and of no practical consequences.
“Circumstances have changed as Parliament has been dissolved. The practical question now is why you need to attend Parliament. Why do you need to see your aides to do parliamentarian work?
“We pray for this application for leave to be dismissed,” Shamsul said in his submission in a hearing for Najib’s application for leave here on Wednesday (Oct 19).
On Oct 5, Najib filed the application for leave to initiate judicial review proceedings against the Prisons Department’s decision that turned down his request to attend Parliament session scheduled between Oct 3 and Nov 11, prior to the dissolution.
He also said he was not allowed access to his officers and aides for the purposes of parliamentary, legislative and constituent work.
In the notice of application, the Pekan MP named the government, the Home Affairs Minister and the Commissioner General of Prisons as the first, second and third respondents respectively.
Meanwhile, counsel Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah argued that his client’s matter posed a live and substantive issue that should be decided by the court.
He said the matter should not be dismissed as “a matter that has passed” simply because of the dissolution of Parliament.
He said upon research, there was no precedence in the issue that the applicant was raising.
“There are not many cases like this, I’d say none. Not even in the Commonwealth. I have scouted around.
“If we don’t solve this now, this matter will again arise (in the future),” he added.
Muhammad Shafee also said that there was likelihood for Najib to sue the Prisons Department as he (Najib) was “deprived” of access to Parliament prior to the dissolution.
“So it is a live issue… tantamount to damages whether nominal or otherwise because he was deprived of going to Parliament,” he added.
Justice Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid fixed Oct 27 to deliver his decision on Najib’s leave application.
In his supporting affidavit, Najib said the prison had rejected his request to attend Parliament, citing “security grounds”.
Dissatisfied with the decision, he then appealed to the Home Minister on Sept 30 along with a request for a decision to be made expeditiously due to the scheduled Parliament sitting on Oct 3.
However, there has been no response from the Home Minister so far.
Najib, who has been the Pekan MP since 1976, said he has been adversely affected by the refusal to let him have access to his officers and aides for the purposes of parliamentary, legislative and constituent work as well as access and attendance in Parliament on scheduled sittings.
He said he has a constitutional obligation under Article 59 of the Federal Constitution to discharge his duties effectively and with substance as the MP.
Najib, who was convicted and sentenced in the RM42mil SRC International Sdn Bhd case, said that although his appeal in the case was dismissed at the Federal Court, he remains an active Pekan MP as he was given a stay of conviction and sentence pursuant to Section 311 of the Criminal Procedure Code.
He is seeking an order of certiorari to quash the commissioner general’s refusal as well as a court declaration that he is entitled to have the said access to his constituency and the Parliament.
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