Bersih wins third court case in a row

PUTRAJAYA — September 7, 2016: The Court of Appeal has struck out a charge preferred on Bersih 2.0 chairperson Maria Chin Abdullah over her alleged failure to give notice to the police prior to a rally last year.

A three-man bench chaired by Justice Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat today held that there were merits to allow her appeal to set aside a high court refusal to strike out the charge.

Maimun said any law including court judgments could not be applied retrospectively. Presiding with her were justices Datuk Ahmadi Asnawi and Datuk Kamardin Hashim. With this decision, Chin, 60, will not face a trial on that charge in the sessions court.

She was charged at a sessions court on October 1, last year, for failing to give notice to Brickfields police 10 days in advance before organising the rally in front of the NU Sentral shopping complex in Brickfields on August 29 last year.

Chin subsequently applied to the high court for the charge to be struck out but her application was dismissed on April 18 this year.

Counsel M. Puravelan submitted that the charge against his client was unlawful as it was premised on a provision that was declared unconstitutional
by the Court of Appeal.

He said that at the time of the alleged offence, the decision in the Nik Nazmi Nik Ahmad case which declared unconstitutional Section 9 (5) of the Peaceful Assembly Act was still an applicable law.

Puravelan argued that it was only on October 1 last year that another panel of the Court of Appeal decided not to follow the Nik Nazmi decision and had ruled that the said section was constitutional.

Outside the court, Chin said Bersih 2.0 would hold a rally in November, adding that it would reveal details of the proposed gathering at a press conference. — Bernama




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