PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal today allowed an interim stay by 204 Musang King durian farmers in Raub, Pahang, pending their appeal to set aside a High Court ruling which refused them leave for judicial review.
This means they can continue to cultivate their land with no interference from the authorities.
A three-member bench chaired by Yaakob Md Sam allowed the stay application after hearing submissions from the farmers’ lawyers via a virtual hearing. Others on the bench were S Nantha Balan and M Gunalan.
Lawyer Brendan Navin Siva said no date has been fixed to hear the appeal but a case management has been scheduled on Feb 22.
“Until the disposal of the matter in the Court of Appeal, it is status quo for the farmers,” said Brendan who appeared with Siew Choon Jern.
On Dec 23, Judge Zainal Azman Ab Aziz dismissed the leave for judicial review against the land eviction notice issued to the farmers by the state government.
He said notice issued by a land administrator cannot be reviewed by a court and the farmers had no legal standing since they were trespassers.
The farmers filed for a judicial review against the state government’s order for them to vacate their farms in various areas in Raub, including in Sungai Ruan, Sungai Chalit and Sungai Klau, measuring about 2,167ha.
They named the Raub District Land Administrator, Pahang Forestry director, state authorities, Pahang state government, Pahang State Agricultural Development Corp (PKPP) and Royal Durian Resources PKPP Sdn Bhd.
Apart from the order to vacate the land under the National Land Code 1965 and the National Forestry Act 1984, they also want a ruling on the state government’s alleged decision to lease the 2,167ha farmland to Royal Pahang Durian Resources PKPP.
The applicants also requested a review on the decision to sublease the land and the mandatory requirement to sell durians to a single entity nominated by Royal Pahang Durian Resources PKPP.