The High Court will decide on Friday whether to allow or dismiss a preliminary objection by the Registrar of Societies (RoS) to the leave for judicial review applications filed by some MIC leaders over a directive for the party to hold fresh elections.
If the court allows the objection, it will not hear the two applications for leave.
Judge Datuk Asmabi Mohamad set the date in chambers after hearing submissions by senior federal counsel Suzana Atan, representing the RoS, and lawyer B. Jadadish Chandra, representing the MIC leaders, including president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel.
The two applications for leave for judicial review were filed separately.
The first application was filed on Feb 23 by MIC Central Working Committee (CWC) member A. K. Ramalingam, 47, who named the RoS and its director-general, Mohammad Razin Abdullah, as the respondents.
On Feb 24, Palanivel, vice-presidents Datuk S. Sothinathan and Datuk S. Balakrishnan and former secretary-general A. Prakash Rao filed the second application, naming the ROS and the Home Minister as the first and second respondents respectively.
When asked for the grounds of the objection, Suzana told reporters the applicants had yet to exhaust the statutory remedy provided under the Societies Act 1966; the power of the RoS under Section 16 of the act was not subject to review and the court had no jurisdiction to entertain the application by the ouster clause of Section 18C of the act.
The ouster clause prevents the court from hearing the matter questioning the decisions made by political parties.
The court also granted former MIC Youth chief Senator Datuk S.A. Vigneswaran’s application to be intervenor in the judicial review applications.
Vigneswaran’s lawyer, Datuk David Gurupatham, told reporters his client had direct interest to intervene in the proceedings as he was the complainant (who had lodged the complaint with the RoS).
In the application, Palanivel, Sothinathan, Balakrishnan and Prakash Rao are seeking, among others, a declaration that matters related to a political party’s elections are governed by that party’s constitution and could not be based on the opinion of the RoS.
They are also seeking a declaration that the decision of the MIC annual general meeting held on Nov 30, 2013 was legitimate and enforceable.
The four applicants also sought an interim injunction to restrain the two respondents from taking any action against MIC or issuing any directive to the party until the disposal of the judicial review applications.
Source: Therakyatpost , Bernama