Ministry, Adib's family files affidavits to oppose temple task force stay bid

PUTRAJAYA (March 4): The Housing and Local Government Ministry and family of deceased firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim have filed affidavits to oppose Save Seafield Mariamman Temple Task Force's stay application.

The affidavits were separately filed last week in support of the Attorney-General's Chambers' (AGC) bid to object to the temple task force's application to stay the inquest pending hearing of an appeal.

Temple task force's lawyer M. Visvanathan informed the Court of Appeal three-man panel that he received this morning the affidavits which were separately filed by the ministry's lawyer Syazlin Mansor and lawyer Kamaruzaman A. Wahab.

He requested the court to give him time to file an affidavit-in-reply as he said the affidavit was unprecedented since it was filed by fellow interested parties to object to the presence of interested parties in the inquest.

Visvanathan said the affidavits questioned the legal standing of the temple task force to participate in the inquest.

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*Adib inquest: Temple committee files appeal for watching brief

The panel comprising Justices Datuk Umi Kalthum Abdul Majid, Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal and Datuk Stephen Chung Hian Guan adjourned the hearing of two applications scheduled today.

"We adjourned both motions to a date to be fixed, to be heard together with the appeal. Parties, in the meantime, are allowed to file any further affidavit if necessary," said Justice Umi Kalthum who chaired the panel.

The applications were the temple task force's application for stay of the inquest into Muhammad Adib's death pending hearing of its (the temple task force's) appeal against the Feb 8, this year High Court decision in upholding the Coroner's Court's dismissal of temple task force's application to hold a watching brief at the inquest.

The other application is by the AGC which sought to strike out the temple task force's appeal.

Deputy public prosecutor Datuk Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar objected to Visvanathan's application to file affidavit-in-reply as the affidavits did not mention involvement of Hindu devotees.

On Feb 8, the Shah Alam High Court rejected the temple task force appeal against the Coroner Court’s decision ruling that the party has no interest in the ongoing inquest.

On Jan 31, Coroner Rofiah Mohamad refused the application by the temple task force as an interested party in the inquest on the grounds that it has no clear, substantive and reasonable interests.

Muhammad Adib, 24, who was a member of the Subang Jaya Fire and Rescue Station Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS), was seriously injured during a riot in the vicinity of the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple in USJ 25, Subang Jaya, on Nov 27 last year. He died at the National Heart Institute on Dec 17.

The hearing of the inquest will resume on March 19.

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