The High Court here Tuesday struck out with costs the suit by Perak Legislative Assembly former Speaker V. Sivakumar against the current Speaker Datuk R. Ganesan, seeking damages for assault and battery and wrongful detention, as well as aggravated damages.
Judge Datuk Azahar Moahamed said the court could not interfere with what had been decided by the Perak assemblymen at their sitting on May 7 in accordance with Article 72 (1) of the Federal Constitution, “which states that the validity of any proceeding in any state legislative assembly cannot be questioned in any court”.
He said any matter arising with regard to the dismissal or appointment of the Speaker at the assembly sitting should be examined, discussed and resolved in the assembly and not in court.
“The Perak Legislative Assembly has an exclusive jurisdiction over the matter. To me as far as this court is concerned, the decision of the legislative assembly on May 7, 2009 to remove the plaintiff as Speaker and to appoint the defendant was conclusive and had been fairly determined by the state assembly on May 7, 2009.
“To question the validity of the removal and appointment is to question the validitiy of the Constitution. This cannot be done in virtue of Article 72,” Azahar said in his judgment which he read out in court.
The judge said he therefore had no other choice but to dismiss the plaintiff’s application with costs.
Sivakumar in his writ of summons filed through Messrs. Chan & Associates at the High Court registrar’s office here on May 15, had also applied for an injunction to prevent the defendant (Ganesan) or his workers or agents from denying him entry into the assembly, or to prevent or restrict him in whatever manner from holding the post or from carrying put his duties as the legitimate assembly Speaker.
Sivakumar had also applied for an injunction to prevent any further abuse, attack or assault by the defendant or his workers or agents.
In is statement of claims, Sivakumar stated that he was still the Tronoh assemblyman and Perak legislative assembly Speaker.
He claimed that the defendant was not elected as an assemblyman and hence his presence at any assembly sitting was an insult to the House.
Sivakumar also claimed that about 2pm on May 7, while he was chairing the assembly sitting at the Perak Darul Ridzuan building as the legitimate Speaker, the defendant’s workers or agents had forcefully held, then dragged and ejected him from the assembly hall on the defendant’s order.
He claimed that in his forced absence, the defendant had illegally assumed the post of Speaker, sat on the Speaker’s chair and wore the Speaker’s robe.
Sivakumar was represented by lawyers Chan Kok Keong and Leong Cheok Keng, and Ganesan by Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin who was assisted by Datuk Hafarizam Harun, Abu Bakar As Sidek, Cheng Mai, Badrulhishah Abdul Wahab, Faizul Hilmy Ahmad Zamri and Syed Faisal Syed Abdullah.
Firoz Hussein who was later met by reporters, said the court’s decision on Tuesday clearly showed that Sivakumar’s claims were all “semberono” or frivolous and an abuse of the court process.
He said the case had laid out a very important principle that the court would not interfere with the actual functioning and control by the state legislative assembly of its proceedings.
“But I think more importantly, is for the (Perak) government now to continue to function. All these claims brought out are really frivolous and a complete waste of time and we regret it very much.”
Leong, meanwhile, said he would discuss with his client before taking further action, including the possibility of appealing against the High Court’s decision. — BERNAMA