Friday July 6, 2012
Hougang by-election case to be heard in open court
THE Hougang resident seeking to get the High Court to declare that the Prime Minister does not have unfettered discretion in deciding whether and when to call by-elections will now get to argue her case in open court.
Justice Philip Pillai decided that the hearing for Vellama Marie Muthu’s bid would take place over two days on July 16 and 17, said her lawyer M. Ravi.
This followed a closed-door session where Justice Pillai heard applications from Ravi and the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC).
Yesterday’s outcome marks the latest twist in the eventful case.
In April this year, Justice Pillai had allowed the case to go to open court but the AGC then filed an appeal against his decision.
Last month, following further developments after the Hougang by-election in May, the AGC withdrew its appeal but filed a separate application to strike out Madam Vellama’s bid entirely.
However, Ravi argued in theclosed-door hearing that Vellama’s application continues to have constitutional significance.
Furthermore, by withdrawing its appeal and taking out a new application, he said the AGC was abusing court processes and “(seeking) to take a second bite of the cherry”. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network