MIC vice-president Datuk C Sivarraajh has the right to remain seated in the Dewan Rakyat because he still has 14 days to appeal against a recent Election Court’s decision, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The Barisan Nasional chairman said Section 36A (2) of the Election Offences Act 1954 stated that an MP facing a situation like Sivarraajh, has the right to remain in the House within the 14-day appeal period.
“That is why Barisan MPs protested because an MP who has been declared to allegedly commit an offence still has the right to be in the Parliament sitting until the 14-day appeal period ends.
“If an appeal notice has been filed, he is still qualified to be in Parliament sittings until the Federal Court makes a decision. This is very clearly stated,” he said to reporters during a press conference in Parliament on Thursday (Dec 6).
The Election Court had nullified Sivarraajh’s victory in the Cameron Highlands seat as it had been found “beyond a reasonable doubt” that he had given bribes to get votes.
Earlier on Thursday (Dec 6), Barisan MPs staged a mini-walkout just 10 minutes before lunch time at about 12.50pm after Dewan Rakyat speaker Datuk Ariff Md Yusof ejected Sivarraajh from the House.
On Wednesday (Dec 5), Sivarraajh was also ordered to leave the Dewan Rakyat until he shows proof he had filed an appeal against the Election Court decision.
“Barisan MPs asked for the decision to be retracted and if there is a mistake, we will forgive, but don’t take sides. The Speaker must be fair to both parties,” he said.
Zahid said the protest was necessary otherwise it would set a precedent for similar cases in future.
“If this ruling is made, then it would be a reference point for future Parliamentary sittings.
However, Zahid said the protest was only for this particular matter and they would be back for the afternoon parliamentary session at 2.30pm after lunch.
“I will make my ruling on this matter on Monday,” Ariff said, just before the BN MPs walked out. – The Star