Friday 23 Feb 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (July 10): The High Court (Appellate and Special Power’s) division has granted four Petaling Jaya residents leave (permission) to have the merits of their application to gain access to the Social Impact Assessment (SIA), Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) and Traffic Impact Assessment (TIA) reports for the PJ Dispersal Link project to be heard.

The application was allowed by Judge Datuk Amarjeet Singh after he dismissed a preliminary objection made by the Attorney General's Chambers.

Hence, the four residents’ merits to initiate the judicial review will proceed and Amarjeet has fixed July 24 for case management.

This was confirmed by the counsel for the four PJ residents, Lim Wei Jiet, when contacted by The Edge. He also said federal counsel M Kogilambigai appeared for the Attorney General's Chambers.

On June 7, lawyer T Chakaravarthi and three others filed the judicial review application where they 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.

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, they 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 judicial review is allowed, the residents want the documents to be provided to them 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, it is illogical for the government to classify the concession agreement as “official secrets” under the OSA.

Edited ByLam Jian Wyn
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