KUALA LUMPUR, 4 Sept 2009: Puchong Member of Parliament (MP) Gobind Singh Deo was not given an opportunity to defend himself before his year-long suspension from Parliament sitting, the High Court heard today.
Counsel Karpal Singh submitted that the Dewan Rakyat speaker, as first defendant, and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, as second defendant, had acted beyond the Parliament Standing Orders in suspending Gobind and depriving his renumeration, benefits and allowances for a year, effective 16 March 2009.
He said the Dewan Rakyat had no power in taking away the plaintiff’s entitlements, which contravened Article 64 of the Federal Constitution and Standing Order 44(3).
On 23 April, Gobind filed an originating summons at the High Court here, seeking a declaration that his suspension as MP was null and void.
In his summons, he claimed that his one-year suspension violated Article 8(1) of the Federal Constitution. He named as defendants Dewan Rakyat Speaker Mohamed Nazri, the Dewan Rakyat secretary, and the government.
He seeks to declare that the letter dated 18 March, signed by Dewan Rakyat secretary Datuk Roosme Hamzah, suspending him as MP and stripping him of all the allowances and benefits as MP was null and void because it was not enforceable under the law.
Gobind, 36, also wants a declaration that he is entitled to all those allowances and benefits under Article 64, and that the proceedings and decision of the Dewan Rakyat are not immune to adjudication by the court.
Meanwhile, Senior Federal Counsel Azizah Nawawi submitted that Gobind’s application was clearly outside the jurisdiction of the court and was not justifiable.
“The issue here, whatever proceedings were within the four walls of Parliament, cannot be challenged,” she said, adding that the motion was accepted by Parliament after it was debated by its members.
Judicial Commissioner Mohd Ariff Md Yusof fixed next Thursday for further submission. — Bernama