Wednesday January 30, 2013
Residents’ bid to review Lynas TOL dismissed by High Court
KUANTAN: The High Court here has dismissed with costs an application for leave by residents for a judicial review on the issuance of Lynas’ temporary operating licence (TOL).
Justice Mariana Yahya ruled that the residents had not exhausted all options in their objection to the TOL prior to filing the application.
“The specific procedure for any person dissatisfied with a decision is to seek recourse with the minister.
“This is a domestic remedy and should be exhausted first.
“I am of the view that a remedy by judicial review should not be available when the applicants have not appealed (against) the minister’s decision. Otherwise, the existence of the domestic remedy provided under Section 32 of the Atomic Energy Licensing Act will be rendered meaningless,” she said yesterday.
Justice Mariana then allowed the Attorney-General’s preliminary objection to quash the application with costs to be determined by the court registrar.
Mohd Taufiq Teng Abdullah and six others had filed the application against the Science, Technology and Innovation Minister and the Atomic Energy Licensing Board for issuing the TOL.
The A-G contended that the seven residents had no locus standi to file the application because they had not appealed to the minister.
The residents’ lawyer Datuk Bastian Vendargon submitted there should be an exception when there was a breach or failure to comply with the requirements of natural justice and when a decision-maker had acted in excess of his jurisdiction.
Bastian told the court that he would file a formal application for Justice Mariana to recuse herself from presiding over another judicial review application on Feb 5.
“We are also going to appeal this decision,” he said.