KUALA LUMPUR, March 6 — The High Court here today fixed April 27 for decision of a judicial review application filed by an activist Maria Chin Abdullah to challenge the Immigration travel ban on her.
Justice Datuk Nik Hasmat Nik Mohamad set the date after hearing submissions from Chin’s lawyer Datuk Gurdial Singh Nijar and senior federal counsel Shamsul Bolhassan who acted for the respondents.
Chin named the Immigration director-general and Home Minister as respondents in her application.
Gurdial in his submission argued that there was no provision in the Immigration Act or Passports Act allowing the Minister and/or the DG of the Immigration Department to impose a travel ban on a Malaysian citizen.
“In this regard, we submit that the respondents have no jurisdiction under the Immigration Act or Passports Act to impose a travel ban and thus have acted ultra vires,” the lawyer said.
Shamsul submitted that the court ought to dismiss the application on grounds that the matter had become academic.
He argued that there was no issue of breach of Article 10 of the Federal Constitution as the core issue at hand was the right to leave the country, to travel overseas and a right to a passport.
Chin, who is also steering committee chairman of the Coalition for Clean and Fair Elections (Bersih 2.0), filed the leave application on July 28, last year seeking to quash the order by the Immigration DG.
She is also seeking a declaration that the respondents did not have the power to reach the decision and therefore acted in excess of jurisdiction.
In the application, Chin said she was informed of her travel ban shortly before she was to board a flight to South Korea on May 15, 2016 at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA).
She claimed authorities failed to take into account that she was travelling to South Korea to attend a human rights conference and receive an award for Bersih 2.0.
On Oct 25, 2016 Chin was granted leave by the court to challenge the respondents’ decision. — Bernama