Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Federal Court strikes out appeal by three Hindraf activists

PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court here today struck out an appeal by three Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) activists to overturn a High Court decision to reinstate a sedition charge against them.

Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Richard Malanjum and Federal Court judges Hashim Yusoff and Md Raus Sharif made the unanimous decision after ruling that the apex court did not have the jurisdiction to hear their appeal because the matter originated from the Sessions Court.

Matters originating from the Sessions Court end at the Court of Appeal.

Lawyers P Uthayakumar, 49, younger brother P Waytha Moorthy, 44, and V Ganabatirau, 37, were charged at the Klang Sessions Court on Nov 23, 2007, with allegedly inciting a crowd through their speeches in Tamil, at a restaurant in Batang Berjuntai between 8.30pm and 11.15pm on Nov 16, 2007.

Ten days later, the Sessions Court ordered the three to be discharged not amounting to an acquittal on a technicality, after ruling that the charge was improperly framed.

However, on Dec 10, the same year, the High Court reversed the decision after allowing the prosecution’s application to review that of the Sessions Court.

The Court of Appeal on July 7, last year rejected their appeal and upheld the High Court”s decision to order the trio to stand trial on the charge.

Uthayakumar, Waytha Moorthy and Ganabatirau were charged under Section 4 of the Sedition Act 1948 (Revised 1969) and would be liable to a maximum RM5,000 fine or three years” jail, upon conviction.