Wednesday 24 Apr 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (June 21): Four Petaling Jaya residents, led by lawyer T Chakaravarthi, have filed a judicial review application at the High Court to seek leave (permission) to obtain the Social Impact Assessment (SIA), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) reports for the PJ Dispersal Link project.

Messrs Lim Wei Jiet filed the application on June 7, and it will be heard on July 7 before judge Datuk Amarjeet Singh.

Chakaravarthi and the other three named the director general of the Urban and Regional Planning department, the director of the Selangor Urban and Regional Department, as well as the Selangor and federal governments as respondents.

In the application, the residents are seeking a mandamus order to compel the respondents to hand over the SIA, EIA and TIA reports that the developer PJD Link (M) Sdn Bhd or its agents or consultants submitted to the respondents.

Furthermore, the PJ residents are seeking the various minutes of the “Focus group discussion” held by the consultants or agents of PJD Link and other related documents that are used to approve the project.

In addition, the residents want the design of the proposed PJ Dispersal Link highway and the concession agreement dated April 5 last year as well as a declaration that the concession agreement does not fall under Section 2 of the Official Secrets Act (OSA) 1972.

If the application is allowed, the residents want the documents to be provided within seven days of the decision.

Besides this, they are seeking a declaration that the provision that the concession agreement is an official secret is unconstitutional and hence should be declared null and void.

In their application, the residents cited that the classification of the document under the OSA is a violation of their right to information under Article 10(1)(a), read together with Articles 5 (Liberty of a person) and 8 (Equality) of the Federal Constitution.

They said it can only be classified as secret under Article 10(2)(a) if it is in the interest and safety of the federation with other countries. They further said that as the respondents had not given reasons for their application to get the documents, hence it is illogical for the government to classify the concession agreement as “Official Secrets” under OSA, which is bad in law.

In addition, the residents claimed the classification of the concession agreement as confidential is outside the scope of Section 2B of the OSA.

Last month, it was reported that the residents filed letters of demand seeking those documents from the respondents, as they had concerns over the methodology deployed by the consultants, as well as the alleged lack of transparency and detail of information in several focus group discussions conducted by the consultants.

Edited BySurin Murugiah
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