Court Dismisses Maria Chin’s Application To Strike Out Charge

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KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here Monday dismissed an application by Bersih 4.0 rally organiser Maria Chin Abdullah to strike out a charge relating to the organising of the event at the High Court here.

Judicial Commissioner Datuk Mohd Shariff Abu Samah dismissed the application on grounds that it had no merit and the charge against Maria Chin was valid and constitutional.

She filed the application to strike out the charge on the grounds that it was unconstitutional and void

Mohd Shariff said it was an offence to hold a rally without a permit.

“It is the responsibility of the applicant to submit the 10 day notice before holding the rally, and failing to do so is a criminal offence.

“The Peaceful Assembly Act 2012 is enforced on April 23, 2012. The rally was held on Aug 29, 2015, which is after the law was enforced. The law is formulated by Parliament and it cannot be questioned,” he added.

The court, he said, also had no power to postpone a case before the Sessions Court and therefore, dismissed the application.

The court ordered the prosecution and charge against Maria Chin at the Sessions Court to proceed and set May 6 for mention of the case before Sessions Court judge Datuk Jagjit Singh Bant Singh.

Maria Chin, who is also Bersih 2.0 chairman, was charged of failing to give notice to the Brickfields district police here 10 days in advance before organising the rally in front of the NU Sentral shopping complex, Jalan Tun Sambanthan, Brickfields here between 2 pm and 3 pm last Aug 29, 2015.

This is an offence under Section 9(1) of the Peaceful Assembly Act (PAA) 2012.

She was charged under Section 9(5) of the same act and is liable to a fine of up to RM10,000 upon conviction.

Maria Chin is represented by lawyers Datuk S.Ambiga and Arina Ong Xin Yi, while the prosecution is conducted by deputy public prosecutor Afzainizam Abdul Aziz.