Tuesday September 11, 2012
Bid against Lynas fails
By M. MAGESWARI
PUTRAJAYA: Ten anti-Lynas residents who challenged the Atomic Energy Licensing Board's (AELB) decision of granting a rare earth company temporary operating licence (TOL) failed in their appeal to get leave for a judicial review of the matter.
The Court of Appeal held yesterday was not persuaded that High Court (Appellate and Special Powers) judge Justice Rohana Yusuf had erred in her ruling.
Justice Rohana had in April dismissed the residents' application to get leave to challenge the Lynas project in Gebeng, Pahang, and held the 10 residents could have channelled their grouses through the appeal process, to be handled by Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.
She had said the judicial review by the residents was premature and might lead to confusion and embarrassment in the event the findings of the minister differed from that of the court.
Justice Ramly Ali, who chaired the three-man panel, ruled that the High Court was entitled to insist that the residents should exhaust alternative remedies of appealing to the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister over the issuance of the TOL to the Lynas plant.
“So far as we can discern from the statements, there are matters of fact which need to be confirmed by the parties which can only be done by an appeal to the minister.
“This will ensure the issues are crystalised and can be dealt with definitively in a judicial review and not as disputed facts and allegations. We unanimously dismiss the appeal,” said Justice Ramly.
Others in the panel were Court of Appeal judges Justices Abdul Wahab Patail and Justice Anantham Kasinather.
Justice Ramly said the Bench agreed there would not be any order as to costs.
Stop Lynas Coalition chairman Andansura Rabu, who came to the appellate court with 120 people in three buses, said they were disappointed with the ruling and would find ways to address the matter.
K. Shanmuga, co-counsel for the residents, said his clients would probably apply for leave to the Federal Court.