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Federal Court dismisses Dr Mahathir's leave to appeal

PUTRAJAYA (July 1): Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's judicial review to challenge the validity of the appointment of two former top judges has come to an end as the Federal Court here today dismissed his application for leave to appeal.

Following the dismissal of his application, Dr Mahathir cannot proceed with his appeal to the Federal Court.

Justice Datuk Rohana Yusuf, who chaired a three-member bench, held that there were no more live issues on the two top judges' appointment as the Federal Court had already decided in the Malaysian Bar case.

She said the court saw no reason to depart from the Federal Court’s decision in the Malaysian Bar case.

The other two judges were Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh and Tan Sri Idrus Harun.

On Sept 24, last year, the Federal Court declined to answer four constitutional questions concerning the appointment of former Chief Justice Tun Raus Sharif and former Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin after ruling that the matter was academic since they had resigned from their posts in July, last year.

The Malaysian Bar and the Advocates Association of Sarawak (AAS), in their legal challenge, had posed those four questions of law for determination by the Federal Court.

The Bar and AAS had questioned whether the appointment of Raus and Zulkefli as additional judges in 2017 was constitutional. The two were made additional judges after they reached the constitutional mandatory retirement age of 66 years and six months, before they went on to re-assume the top posts.

In Dr Mahathir's case, he had filed two applications for leave to commence a judicial review to challenge the appointment and extension of the two judges' terms.

However, the applications were dismissed by the High Court on Nov 16, 2017 and by the Court of Appeal on Feb 25, this year.

In the proceedings today, Dr Mahathir's counsel Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla said the premier wished to proceed with the appeal on points of law for future guidance to the executive on the constitutionality of such appointment.

Senior federal counsel Alice Loke Yee Ching urged the court to dismiss the leave to appeal, saying that the matter was academic since both judges had departed from their posts.

 

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