The Court of Appeal today fixed July 9 to hear the Election Commission's appeal against the landmark Sarawak High Court decision that declared null and void the electoral constituency redelineation exercise.
The decision was made by Court of Appeal president Justice Md Raus Sharif (photo), who sat for the case management of the matter in chambers. Normally, in such matters, the deputy registrar of the court decides.
Senior federal counsel Shamsulbol Hassan, Azizan Md Arshad confirmed the dates with Batu Lintang assemblyperson See Chee How, while state legal advisor JC Foong appeared for the Sarawak government.
"The hearing of the appeal is fixed for July 9, and it will be heard in Putrajaya and not in Kuching," said Shamsulbol.
See wanted the application be heard in Putrajaya and not in Kuching, to which the EC did not object.
Normally, for cases originating from Sabah or Sarawak, the Court of Appeal and Federal Court would have panels sitting in the state capitals. But on certain occasions, the hearing are held here.
Court granted mandamus order
It was previously reported in May that Kuching High Court judge Justice Yew Jen Kie declared the re-delineation exercise by the EC as null and void following the non-compliance of the notice to voters as it lack particulars.
The court also granted a mandamus order to compel EC to republish the notice of its proposed recommendations to review the division of the state constituencies for the purpose of elections for the state legislative assembly.
At present, Sarawak has 71 state seats and the re-delineation exercise by EC seeks to increase it to 82 - an additional 11 - for the state legislative assembly.
The decision has hampered Chief Minister Adenan Satem's (photo) plan to seek an early mandate following his appointment last year succeeding Abdul Taib Mahmud. The state must hold elections before the middle of next year.
Cyrus Das to represent See
See (photo) told reporters today that senior constitutional lawyer Dr Cyrus Das will be appearing for him and the voter from Baram in the judicial review application.
However, the Batu Lintang assemblyperson who is also a lawyer, said he will make an application for an ad-hoc license for Cyrus.
“As the case originated from Sabah and Sarawak, Cyrus must have the license to practice. We will make the necessary application.
“I do not think it would be a problem,” he said.
Electoral watchdog group Bersih 2.0 had urged the EC and the Attorney General Chambers not to appeal the High Court decision but the appeal was filed on May 27.