Anwar’s reference over constitutionality of NSC Act to be heard on Oct 30

by BERNAMA/ pic by BERNAMA

Port Dickson Member of Parliament Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s reference to challenge the constitutionality of National Security Council (NSC) Act will be heard on Oct 30.

Anwar’s lawyer, J. Leela, said the hearing of the matter initially set on July 12 was rescheduled to Oct 30 following a case management today before Federal Court deputy registrar Norhafizah Zainal Abidin.

Federal counsel Krishna Priya appeared for the government.

On March 14, this year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court judge allowed Anwar’s application under Section 84 of the Courts of Judicature Act to refer the matter to the Federal Court.

The first legal question is whether Section 12 of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 1983, Section 2 of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 1984 and Section 8 of the Constitution (Amendment) Act 1994 are null and void and have no effect on grounds that they breach the basic structure of the Federal Constitution.

The second is whether the NSC Act is unconstitutional, null and void on grounds that it became law pursuant to an unconstitutional amendment, was not enacted in accordance with Article 149 and violates freedom of movement as guaranteed under Article 9(2).

Anwar filed the originating summons to challenge the constitutionality of the NSC, which came into force on Aug 1, 2016, but it was struck out by the High Court on grounds that the legal challenge should have been filed at the Federal Court as it involved legislative competence by Parliament.

Anwar lost his appeal at the appellate court which dismissed it on Nov 6, 2017.

In March 2018, the Federal Court granted him leave to appeal against the decision.

On Nov 13, 2018, the Federal Court allowed Anwar’s appeal and remitted back the matter to the High Court for hearing of the merit.

However, when the case was mentioned before High Court Judge Datuk Nordin Hassan on Feb 27 this year, Anwar’s lead counsel Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram had sought for the court to transfer the matter to the Federal Court for it to decide on constitutional questions under Section 84 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964.

In his originating summons filed on Aug 2, 2016, Anwar claimed that the implementation of NSC Act 2016 was unconstitutional and void, naming NSC and the government as the first and second defendant, respectively.

He is seeking to invalidate the NSC Act in his bid to restore the power of the King on Royal Assent.