Thursday, January 31, 2013

Federal Court allows leave application by MTUC, 12 others Read more: Federal Court allows leave application by MTUC, 12 others - Latest - New Straits Times


PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has allowed a leave application by the Malaysian Trades Union Congress (MTUC) and 12 others to appeal against the decision of a lower court that they cannot have access to an audit report and water concession agreement.

A five-man bench led by Datuk Hashim Yusoff yesterday unanimously allowed the application but limited the appeal on a single question of law.
 The legal question framed is whether the test of locus standi in the 1988 Supreme Court decision in the case of Lim Kit Siang versus United Engineers (M) Bhd was still applicable in view of the current provisions in the 2012 Court Rules.  
 Lim, then the parliamentary opposition leader, asked for a declaration that the letter of intent issued by the government to UEM to construct the North-South Highway was invalid.
 The Supreme Court by a 3-2 majority ruled that Lim had no locus standi or legal standing to bring the action.
 This was because he had failed to show that his private right had been infringed or he had suffered a special damage.
 The Court of Appeal in a 2-1 ruling in 2011 had also stated that the MTUC and others could not have access to the audit report and water concession agreement signed between the Selangor government and Syarikat Bekalan Air Selangor (Syabas) on grounds they did not have the locus standi.
 Judges Datuk Paduka Zaleha Zahari and Datuk Wira Abu Samah Nordin held that the MTUC and the individuals were not "adversely affected" persons.
 Judge Datuk Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus, who dissented, however, said he was upholding the 2010 High Court judgment as this was a public interest litigation.
 The applicants (MTUC and the 12) had named the government and the Energy, Green Technology and Water Ministry as parties to their suit.
 Earlier, lawyer Malik Imtiaz Sarwar, who represented the applicants, submitted the 1988 ruling was restrictive on who is an aggrieved person to bring a public interest case.
 He said leave ought to be granted for the apex court to review the 1988 decision and the present case also touched on freedom to obtain information.
 Senior Federal Counsel Suzana Atan submitted that the earlier supreme court ruling was still good law and leave should be rejected.

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