The Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s decision to dismiss the interim injunction against DBKL.

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal today dismissed an appeal for an injunction by 41 families living in Bukit Jalil estate against Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), which plans to demolish their homes.

In a unanimous decision, the court comprising Justices Zainun Ali, Ramly Ali and Zaharah Ibrahim upheld the High Court’s decision in May not to grant the injunction, without cost.

The 41 families living in the former estate area were issued eviction notices in March under the Emergency Ordinance (EO) by DBKL.

However, the residents argued that the EO can only be used against squatters, not former estate workers.

They then took their case to the Kuala Lumpur High Court and obtained an ex-parte interim injunction against DBKL, pending trial.

However, in May, the court dismissed the residents’ application after a hearing, saying that DBKL had the authority to evict them using the EO.

Subsequently, the residents filed an appeal at the Court of Appeal, which then issued an ex-parte interim injunction, pending a trial.

‘Verdict not a surprise’

Lawyers for Liberty coordinator Fadiah Nadwa Fikri said although Malaysia is a signatory to the United Nations resolution against forced evictions, the government continued to use arbitrary laws such as the EO to evict people.

“And the court, which is the last bastion for the common people to seek justice, continues taking the government’s side under the pretext of the greater good,” said Fadiah.

Suaram director E Nalini said she was not surprised by the verdict and vowed to continue fighting to get justice for the former estate workers.

“We will take our struggle to the streets if we have to,” said Nalini.

Whether they would take up the case to the Federal Court, Nalini said she would discuss the matter with the residents first.

Tomorrow, the Kuala Lumpur  High Court would hear DBKL’s application to strike out the residents’ suit against the local council.

By G Vinod | August 10, 2011