Sedition act clause unconstitutional – Appeal Court

Nov 25, 2016
The Appeal court finds Section 3(3) of Sedition act was in violation of the constitutional right of freedom of speech as per Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.
The Appeal court finds Section 3(3) of Sedition act was in violation of the constitutional right of freedom of speech as per Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.

The Court of Appeal in a landmark decision today ruled out that Section 3(3) of the Sedition Act is unconstitutional.

A three-man panel chaired by Justice Lim Yee Lan said that intention must be proved in every sedition case.

The judgement during the proceedings was read by Justice Varghese George Varughese.

He said Section 3(3) was in violation of the constitutional right of freedom of speech against the spirit of Article 10 of the Federal Constitution.

Varghese said Section 3(3) deviated from the norm of other laws where the prosecution need to prove the element of intention.

Usually the burden of proof lies with the prosecution.

However, under Section 3(3), the burden of proof has been moved out from the prosecution, points out Varghese.

Sri Muda assemblyman Mat Shuhaimi Shafiei filed an appeal challenging the constitutionality of the Sedition Act in relation to seditious tendency and its penalty.

Counsel N. Surendran representing Mat Shuhaimi said with today’s outcome the prosecution must prove the element of intent.

In February, last year, High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Asmabi Mohamad dismissed Mat Shuhaimi’s civil action and ordered him to pay RM2,000 in costs to the government.

In his originating summons filed in September last year, Mat Shuhaimi requested for a declaration that Section 3 of the Sedition Act, read along with Section 4 of the same Act violates Article 10(1)(a) of the Federal Constitution and is therefore invalid.

Mat Shuhaimi on Feb 7, 2011, claimed trial for posting a seditious publication in his blog.

 

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