By The Star
The Malaysian Bar and its office bearers have sued the police and the government for wrongful detention when they were barred from proceeding with their “Walk For Judicial Independence” to Parliament on June 17.
The walk was organised as a peaceful protest against the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s investigations into Court of Appeal judge Justice Datuk Mohd Nazlan Mohd Ghazali, who convicted former Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak in the SRC International case.
The four office bearers are Bar President Karen Cheah, Vice-President Mohamad Ezri Abdul Wahab, secretary Anand Raj R. Balasupramaniam and treasurer Murshidah Mustafa.
The writ of summons was filed through Messrs AmerBON on Oct 20.
They named ACP Noor Dellhan Yahaya (in his capacity as Dang Wangi OCPD), DSP Nuzulan Mohd Din (in his capacity as Dang Wangi CID chief), the police, Inspector-General of Police, Home Minister and government of Malaysia as the first, second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth defendants, respectively.
According to the statement of claim, the plaintiffs said about 500 members of the Malaysian Bar assembled peacefully at Padang Merbok for the march between 7.45am and 10am on June 17.
They had planned to march to Parliament to submit a memorandum to the then deputy law minister in the Prime Minister’s Office, Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin.
The plaintiffs said the police had placed plastic barriers around the area to prevent the participants from entering or passing through Padang Merbok.
After speeches by Bar members on stage, at around 10.35am, the participants tried to march to Parliament but were blocked by police personnel who formed a human chain.
The plaintiffs claimed that the participants were falsely restrained and imprisoned between 10.35am and 11.15am, when they were forcibly confined at the Padang Merbok car park within the barricades constructed by the police under the directive of the first defendant.
As a result, the plaintiffs claimed to have suffered loss of freedom for 40 minutes and that their constitutional rights under Articles 5, 8, 9 and 10 of the Federal Constitution were violated.
They further claimed that the defendants had breached their statutory duties under the Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 and committed misfeasance in public office.
The plaintiffs are claiming special damages for a sum of RM19,449 and unspecified general, aggravated and exemplary damages, as well as other reliefs deemed fit by the court.
The case has been fixed for case management on Jan 12 next year.