The High Court today dismissed Tian Chua’s disqualification suit after ruling that it has no jurisdiction to determine whether he is qualified to contest in the general election.
PKR vice-president Tian Chua has failed to initiate legal proceedings to reverse the Election Commission’s (EC) decision to disqualify him from contesting the Batu parliamentary seat.
Justice Nordin Hassan in allowing the preliminary objection by the Attorney-General Chambers said the application is mainly a challenge on the process of elections, where the filing of nomination papers is part of an election.
He further cited Article 118 of the federal constitution where any challenge on the election results should be by way of an election petition and the matter should be heard before an election judge.
“Therefore, as he is challenging the acceptance of the nomination paper, it should be by election petition.
“I also do not have the jurisdiction and power to hear election petition cases.
“The filing of this originating summons contravenes Article 118. Based on this, the application is dismissed with no order as to costs, ” he said.
The judge said Chua should file his suit by way of an election petition.
Government lawyer Amarjeet Singh said Chua could only file an election petition after the general election.
Lawyer Gurdial Singh Nijar, who appeared for Chua, said, however, that his client was not challenging an election result, only asking for the court to rule on his legal status.
On Monday (April 30), Chua filed a suit to reverse the rejection of his nomination to contest for the Batu parliamentary constituency.
The suit, filed at the High Court on Wednesday (May 2) morning named election returning officer Anwar Md Zain and the EC as respondents.
Chua was seeking a declaration that he is qualified to contest as stipulated under article 48 (1) (e) of the federal constitution.
The Election Commission’s returning officer Anwar Mohd Zains disqualified him on nomination day, saying it was because Chua had previously been fined RM2,000 for insulting a policeman.
The High Court had earlier ruled that an RM2,000 fine does not disqualify an elected MP from contesting again.
In view of the dismissal of Chua’s suit, PKR will extend its full support to Batu’s independent candidate P Prabakaran, 22, to win the seat against Barisan Nasional (BN).
Chua confirmed this following the dismissal of his suit to challenge the decision of the election returning officer to disqualify him from contesting the seat.
He said the election machinery will proceed with its campaigning in Batu to get voters’ support for Prabakaran.
“He is young, energetic and idealistic. We hope to groom him to be an activist. We hope he will uphold the spirit of justice as held by PKR.
“We also want to encourage youth participation in the party,” Chua told reporters outside the court today.