Court urged to never refuse filing of private complaints
Published on: Friday, May 25, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Head of Sabah PAS Legal Unit, Hamid Ismail, urged the court registry to advise the court counter staff to never refuse accepting the filing of a private complaint by members of the public.

The call followed a complaint by one Hashima Hasbullah to Hamid regarding the matter.

"She said she went to the Kota Kinabalu magistrate counter to file a private complaint regarding an offence committed by a company here which opened up a Ramadan bazaar without permit from relevant authority and in that bazaar there were a mixture of halal and non-halal food on sale.

"However, at the court counter, a female court staff who enquired her about the complaint and who took photograph of Hashima's police report on the complaint, refused to accept the filing of the complaint.

"Instead, she directed Hashima to go to City Hall. She said the matters in the complaint were under the City Hall's jurisdiction," he said.

"I humbly request the court registry to advise the court counter staff to never refuse accepting the filing of a private complaint by a member of the public," he added.

He said the decision on whether that complaint is valid or not lies with the magistrate, not the court staff manning the counter.

He said the law provides that a magistrate may take cognisance of an offence upon receiving a complaint (Section 128(1)(a) of the Criminal Procedure Code).

"Upon receiving that complaint, the magistrate must comply with the procedure prescribed under Section 133 of the same code.

"In short, there is an examination of the complainant by the magistrate. Hence, to refuse receiving a complaint at the counter breaches the right of a member of the public to be heard on his or her complaint.

In this case, Hashima's right to be heard had been breached. This is unfortunate," he said.

He said the Kota Kinabalu court has been performing well and excellent in all his years practising there.

"Thus, I trust this is only an isolated incident. But it must be avoided. It should not happen again.

Hashima was filing a serious matter relating to violation of rules by a company that would affect the Muslim consumers in Kota Kinabalu. That complaint should have been received by the court staff," he said.


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