KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 – The High Court has denied the Selangor state government’s legal challenge against the Election Commission (EC) over its redelineation exercise.
High Court Justice Azizul Azmi Adnan ruled Thursday that the judicial review was “non-justiciable” as a redelineation exercise was exclusively the area of the legislature.
He said any intervention by the judiciary would overstep the boundary of separation of powers.
He added that prior Court of Appeal decisions had found that the EC’s recommendations on a redelineation exercise, which still had to be passed by Parliament, were not legally binding and thus did not adversely affect the state government’s legal rights.
Justice Azizul Azmi said the state government’s claim that the electoral roll was flawed, as it did not have the addresses of 136,272 voters, did not hold water.
The judge gave a detailed judgment, going over the applicant’s objection point by point, taking nearly an hour to read.
“For these reasons I dismiss the entire application with no order as to cost,” he said.
A stay was later granted pending appeal by the state government.
The courtroom was packed, with supporters standing in the public gallery and Opposition members including Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and PKR’s Batu MP Tian Chua.
Senior federal counsel Datuk Amarjeet Singh acted for the EC, while lawyer Datuk S. Ambiga represented the state government.
The Selangor government had filed the judicial review on Oct 19 last year, naming the EC, its chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Hashim Abdullah and secretary Datuk Abdul Ghani Salleh as respondents.
It wanted the court to quash the EC’s notice and an order to direct it to publish a fresh notice on the proposed exercise.
The state government also wanted a declaration that the notice was lacking in details, leading to voters, local authorities or the state government being unable to exercise their constitutional right to file representations.
The challenge was based on claims that the EC acted unconstitutionally in the redelineation exercise by using a defective electoral roll.