High Court proceeds with Bukit Jalil Estate case despite stay order by Court of Appeal

The KL High Court today fixed August 11 to hear DBKL’s application to strike out the suit filed by Bukit Jalil estate residents despite a stay order from the Court of Appeal pending a full hearing before it in October.

Justice Zabariah Mohd Yusof then fixed August 10 as the last date for the residents to submit their reply to DBKL’s application.

Lawyer Muhd Afiq Mohd Noor, representing the residents, expressed concern that the court was proceeding with the case despite the stay order which the residents obtained on May 13.

“By right, the honorable judge could not proceed with the hearing today [because of the stay order by the Court of Appeal] and so cannot fix the date for the next hearing [before the Court of Appeal decides on the case].

“The fact that she has fixed these while the injunction has not been disposed of [by the Court of Appeal], could be deemed as contempt to court,” he said.

According to Muhd Afiq, Zabariah sought clarification from the Court Registrar on the contents, time and limit resulted from the stay order.

Komunitikini was told that Registrar had advised Zabariah that her hearing on August 11 will go on, which literally means that the stay order will be disposed before the Court of Appeal can hear the case as scheduled in October.

Last 41 families fighting for four acres of land

The battle for the land on which the former Bukit Jalil Estate sits will determine the fate of last 41 families staying in the former estate quarters and their struggle to be recognised as former estate workers, and to be properly compensated for their eviction.

DBKL has apparently been trying to evacuate the land as soon as possible to accommodate the construction of a Muslim cemetery through Federal Territory Islamic Department (Jawi), the current landowner.

The 41 resident families are asking DBKL for four acres of land collectively on which they will build their own houses.

On May 10, Zabariah ruled that DBKL can demolish Bukit Jalil Estate by citing Emergency Ordinance (Squatter Clearance) 1969 since the residents are not the legal landowners and DBKL has tried to relocate and compensate them.

The residents’ lawyers managed to obtain a stay of execution of Zabariah’s verdict three days later from the Court of Appeal.

However, it now appears that the the High Court will be pre-empting the Court of Appeal’s full hearing of the case in October, where the crucial question of the legal status of the residents will be decided on, among other issues.