KUALA LUMPUR – Universiti Malaya (UM) law lecturer Assoc Prof Dr Azmi Sharom today applied to transfer his sedition case to the High Court.
The application was filed through the legal firm of Messrs. Gobind Singh Deo & Co. at the Sessions Court registry.
Azmi is seeking an order for the Sessions Court to refer to the High Court to determine the constitutionality of Section 49(1) of the Sedition Act 1948, and also for the charges against him to be stayed and/or struck out.
On Sept 2, Azmi had pleaded not guilty in the Sessions Court to a charge of using seditious words over the Perak 2009 crisis.
He was alleged to have committed the offence at the Kuala Lumpur Police Contingent headquarters in Jalan Hang Tuah at 12.30 pm on Aug 12.
Azmi, who is UM Academic Staff Association president, also pleaded not guilty to an alternative charge of publishing the seditious words over the same crisis at the same time and place.
The charges were made under Section 4(1)(b) and Section 4(1)(c) of the Sedition Act 1948, respectively, and punishable with a fine of up to RM5,000 or a jail term of up to three years, or both, if convicted.
Meanwhile, Gobind Singh told reporters that the application was made on the grounds that the Sedition Act 1948 was not enacted by Parliament and also based on Article 10 of the Federal Constitution which guaranteed freedom of speech.
“The Session Court has the power to transmit the matter to the High Court for its determination of the matters raised under Section 30 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964,” he said, adding that they have also filed a certificate of urgency to expedite the hearing of the application.
He hoped that the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) would support the application and consider staying all prosecutions in Sedition cases pending the outcome of this application. – BERNAMA