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New judge to hear Zambry’s suit against Perak speaker

IPOH, 24 March 2009: Judicial Commissioner Ridwan Ibrahim today recused himself from hearing the suit by Menteri Besar Perak Datuk Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir and the six executive councillors against speaker V Sivakumar.

Lawyers from both parties said Ridwan made the decision in chambers here after considering the Federal Court’s order yesterday that a separate suit filed by three independent assemblymen against Sivakumar be returned to him for decision.

One of Sivakumar’s counsel, Chan Kok Keong, said Ridwan was also expected to recuse himself from hearing the suit by the three independent assemblypersons — Jamaluddin Mohd Radzi (Behrang), Mohd Osman Jailu (Changkat Jering) and Hee Yit Foong (Jelapang).

On the suit by Zambry and six others, he said, it had been transferred to Justice Datuk Wan Afrah Wan Ibrahim who had fixed 2 April to hear Sivakumar’s application to have it struck out.

He said the application on the ground that the speaker was entitled to enjoy immunity provided for by Article 72 of the Federal Constitution, would be filed as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, counsel Riza Hassan who acted for Zambry with several others said his side had applied for leave from Federal Court bring certain matters for its decision.

Zambry and the six councillors are seeking a declaration from the High Court that the speaker’s decision in suspending and preventing them from attending the state legislative assembly sittings null and void.

The three independent lawmakers, meanwhile, want the court to declare that their Behrang, Changkat Jering and Jelapang seats are not vacant and that they are still the legitimate people’s representatives.

On 16 March, Ridwan allowed the assemblypersons’ application to refer some constitutional issue as to who has the power to declare the vacancy of state assembly seats.

The apex court, however, decided yesterday that it could not entertain a direct referral from the High Court to interpret the Perak constitution. — Bernama


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