Following the Federal Court’s dismissal in Universiti Malaya law lecturer Dr Azmi Sharom’s constitutional challenge against the Sedition Act 1948, three others who charged for uttering seditious remarks will now make the same move to challenge the constitutionality of the act.
Padang Serai Member of Parliament N.Surendran, human rights lawyer Eric Paulsen and popular cartoonist Zunar would make an application to refer their sedition cases in the Sessions Court to the High Court.
When their cases came up before Sessions Court judge Amernudin Ahmad this morning for remention, the trio’s counsel Latheefa Koya told the court of the applications.
Surendran and Paulsen had filed the applications to refer their sedition cases to High Court while Zunar was expected to file his soon.
“It (application to refer to High Court) is done in accordance with section 30 of the Courts of Judicature Act.
“The issue here is different (from Azmi’s challenge) because we are arguing that intention is irrelevant under the Sedition Act,” Latheefa told the reporters after the cases were adjourned.
The Sessions Court then fixed Dec 11, Dec 9 and Dec 15 respectively pending affidavits submission and hearing, to decide if Surendran, Paulsen and Zunar could refer their cases to the High Court.
The Padang Serai MP was facing a charge under section 4 (1) (C) of the act for criticising the Court of Appeal ruling through a news release titled “Fitnah II is flawed, defensive and insupportable”.
Meanwhile, Paulsen was also charged under section 4 (1) (C) of the same clause over a tweet criticising the Malaysian Islamic Development Department (Jakim) for promoting “extremism”.
Zunar, also known as Zulkiflee Anwar Ulhaque, was slapped with nine seditious charges for tweets pertaining to Opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s sodomy conviction.
Last month, Azmi lost his constitutional challenge against the act after the Federal Court ruled that the act did not contravene the Constitution.
With that ruling, he now has to stand trial for uttering seditious words in an article titled “Take Perak crisis route for speedy end to Selangor impasse, Pakatan told”.
The section caried a maximum jail imprisonment of three years or a fine up to RM5,000 or both, upon conviction.