Hindraf loses appeal in kangaroo court

PUTRAJAYA, July 17 — Hindraf Makkal Shakti (Hindraf) lost its appeal today to set aside a High Court’s refusal to grant it leave to initiate a judicial review application pertaining to a decision in not approving and registering the group as a non-governmental organisation (NGO).
Court of Appeal’s three-member panel chaired by Datuk Seri Abu Samah Nordin ruled that Hindraf’s appeal was academic in view of the Registrar of Societies’ (ROS) letter dated September 22 last year to reject its application to be registered as an NGO.
Justice Abu Samah said the court agreed with the decision of the High Court judge and that Hindraf had not shown that he had erred in law and in fact in his decision.
The panel, also comprising Justices Datuk Alizatul Khair Osman Khairuddin and Datuk Lim Yee Lan, unanimously dismissed Hindraf’s appeal and ordered it to pay RM5,000 in legal costs.
Hindraf was appealing against the decision made by Judge Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim on June 30 last year, denying it leave to file a judicial review application on the ground that the ROS had not made any decision pertaining to Hindraf’s registration.
Hindraf secretary P. Ramesh in his application filed on May 25 last year, named the prime minister, Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, the Registrar of Societies (ROS) of Malaysia and the Federal Territory ROS as respondents.
Ramesh sought a certiorari order to set aside the decision of the respondents presumed to be given on April 24 last year and a mandamus order to compel the respondents to approve and register Hindraf as an NGO.
Hindraf claimed the respondents had refused to reply to its application to be approved and registered as an NGO.
In his supporting affidavit, Ramesh said the application to register Hindraf as an NGO was made on October 2, 2009 and that the application was made based on the rights of freedom and equality as provided under Article 10(1)(C) and Article 8 of the Federal Constitution.
The panel accepted the submission by Senior Federal Counsel Noor Hisham Ismail representing the respondents that the appeal was academic in view of the ROS’ letter.
He said Hindraf’s application for leave to file a judicial review was premature.
Lawyer P. Uthayakumar, who is also Hindraf’s legal adviser, argued that the ROS’ letter was not in the record of appeal as the letter came after the High Court delivered its decision.
Uthayakumar said Hindraf would bring the matter up to the Federal Court.

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