[NEWS] Barring PKR duo from Bersih 3.0 was wrong, rules Court of Appeal

The Court of Appeal has allowed an appeal by two PKR leaders to set aside a magistrate’s order which had earlier barred them from participating in the Bersih 3.0 rally in 2012.

A three-man bench chaired by Datuk Linton Albert, however, did not offer any grounds in allowing the appeal by PKR deputy president Mohamed Azmin Ali (pic) and Rembau PKR branch chief Badrul Hisham Shaharin.

Albert said a written judgment would be provided later.

They also  asked the court to strike out the charges  against them.  However, this was not allowed.  Lawyer S. N. Nair, who represented Badrul Hisham said,  he would write to the Attorney-General’s Cambers to drop the charges against the two since the magistrate’s order was defective.

“The charge has no leg to stand on now since the order of the magistrate is illegal,” he told reporters.

Nair, assisted by counsel Datuk Mohd Yusof Zainal Abiden,  said they would ask the Sessions Court to strike out the charges if the A-G’s Chambers declined to withdraw the case.

Datuk C. V. Prabhakaran appeared for Azmin.

In April last year, the High Court dismissed the duo’s application to strike out the charges against them for taking part in the rally which called for free and fair election.

Azmin and Badrul Hisham made the applications on grounds that the order issued by magistrate Zaki Ashraf was invalid as it was issued out of jurisdiction and against the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA).

They also claimed that the proper authority to impose restrictions on the public for lawful assembly under the PAA was the police, not the Kuala Lumpur City Hall, as stated in the order.

Therefore, they said, the charge under the PAA which was made based on the court order was flawed.

In May 2012, Azmin and Badrul Hisham together with opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim were charged at the Sessions Court under the PAA with violating the court order by taking part in the rally at Dataran Merdeka on April 28. Anwar’s appeal to strike out the charge will be heard on February 5.

They were also jointly charged under the Penal Code with abetting three individuals in disobeying a court order prohibiting any assembly at Dataran Merdeka that day.

They were alleged to have instigated R. Tangam, J. Rajesh Kumar and Farhan Ibrahim  to remove the barriers put up by the authorities at Dataran Merdeka.

Subsequently, the trio were charged with a third count in July under the Penal Code with abetting supporters of the rally in defying a court order prohibiting a gathering at Dataran Merdeka, which resulted in the use of force and violence.  – January 6, 2014.

V. ANBALAGAN, ASSISTANT NEWS EDITOR

Article by Azmin Ali