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Federal Court rules EC can conduct local inquiry in redelineation

PUTRAJAYA, March 9 (Bernama) -- The Federal Court today ruled that the Election Commission can conduct a local inquiry in its proposed exercise to re-delineate parliamentary and state constituencies in Selangor.

The court dismissed a Selangor government application to obtain leave to appeal against the order of the appellate court in setting aside the stay to prevent the EC from holding the inquiry.

The three-man bench, comprising Chief Justice Tun Raus Sharif and Federal Court judges Tan Sri Azahar Mohamed and Tan Sri Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha, dismissed the state government's leave-to-appeal application.

"At the end of the day, there is an unlikely chance of success (in the Selangor government's appeal) even if we allow the leave," said Justice Raus, who chaired the bench.

On Dec 7 last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court threw out the Selangor government's judicial review to challenge the EC's proposed redelineation exercise in the state.

High Court judge Azizul Azmi Adnan, however, allowed the Selangor government's application to suspend the local inquiry process for parliamentary and state constituencies in the state, pending the hearing of its appeal in the Court of Appeal.

On Dec 8, the EC applied to set aside the interim stay order obtained by the Selangor government to suspend the local inquiry process.

On Dec 18, the Court of Appeal, in a 2-1 majority, ruled in favour of the EC and set aside the stay order, prompting the state government to bring the matter to the Federal Court.

Lawyer Datuk S. Ambiga, representing the Selangor government, submitted that the EC had until September this year to complete the delimitation exercise.

She said the stay order should remain to maintain the status quo until disposal of the Selangor government's appeal in the Court of Appeal, which is set for March 23.

Senior federal counsel Alice Loke Yee Ching said the EC cannot be prohibited from performing its constitutional duties.


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