PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has rejected a challenge to an ouster clause in the Prevention of Crime Act and upheld the constitutionality of a provision that excludes the law from judicial review.
The challenge was mounted by six men held under preventive detention orders last year for alleged criminal activities. They were ordered to be detained without trial in Simpang Renggam and Bentong for two years.
The six men, J Devandren, K Rovin Joty, V Ragu, Darweesh Raja Sulaim, R Vellu and M Nivesh Nair filed habeas corpus applications for their release, which were rejected by the High Court. They appealed to the Federal Court on constitutional grounds.
However, the court dismissed their appeals by a 4-1 majority. Judge Zabariah Mohd Yusof, who delivered the judgment, said Parliament was empowered to pass the Act as a special preventive law.
Zabariah said the majority of the bench was of the view that the provision against judicial review of detention orders did not offend the constitution as Parliament had been conferred powers to set up an institutionalised mechanism like the court.
The dissenting judge, Nallini Pathmanathan, held however that the ouster clause was unconstitutional.