Kuala Lumpur, Jan 25 : The detention of five Hindu Rights Action Force (Hindraf) leaders last month was not carried out by the Malaysian Police according to procedures spelt out in the Internal Security Act 1960, lawyer Karpal Singh said in the High Court.
Karpal Singh submitted at a habeas corpus hearing that the orders given out for Hindraf leaders were only valid for detention but not arrest, which ought to have been carried out before the detention.
He said the first respondent in the case; the Internal Security Minister and Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had not applied the law in a just manner.
Karpal Singh added that had there been an arrest, P. Uthayakumar, V. Ganabathirau and T. Vasanthakumar, and lawyers R. Kenghadharan and M. Manoharan, would have been investigated and given 60 days to put up a defence before the minister made an order of detention under the ISA.
He said there was a procedural non-compliance when the minister proceeded to make the order of detention under section 8(1) of the ISA without affecting an arrest under section 73(1) which he was required to do.
"Section 8(1) does not provide for arrest. It only confers power on the minister to make an order of detention. This is also a fatal flaw which nullifies the applicant's initial arrest and continued detention at the detention centre in Perak," he said.
The New Straits Times Online quoted Karpal as saying that the representation against the detention of the five, which was addressed to the ISA Advisory Board chairman, was instead directed to the board's secretary.
Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail in his reply said the respondents did comply with the procedural requirements when issuing the order of detention.