The ongoing inquest into the death of firefighter Muhammad Adib Mohd Kassim will proceed unimpeded with the Court of Appeal today denying an application to temporarily stay the proceedings.
Judge Umi Kalthum Abdul Majid, who chaired a three-judge panel, adjourned to March 4 the hearing of the stay application from the Save Seafield Maha Mariamman Temple Task Force, ruling that the inquest is of public interest.
“We all know that the inquest is for public knowledge, that it is a public interest matter and there are contentious issues.
"Therefore, the proceedings should not be stayed at any time,” said Umi Kalthum, who sat with judges Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal and Stephen Chung.
Lawyer M Visvanathan, representing the taskforce, had sought an interim stay of the ongoing inquest pending a hearing proper of the bid.
This was objected to by deputy public prosecutor Mohd Dusuki Mokhtar, who said that the inquest has to proceed until April 12 as scheduled by the Coroner’s Court.
The Court of Appeal adjourned the hearing of the stay to March 4 to enable the taskforce to file an affidavit of its legal position in the stay application, and for the Attorney-General’s Chambers to file an affidavit-in-reply.
The Coroner’s Court has heard the testimony of 13 witnesses during the past eight days of the proceedings.
On Feb 13, the taskforce also filed an appeal against the High Court ruling of Feb 8 upholding the decision of the Coroner’s Court, which had rejected its application to hold a watching brief at the inquest.
The hearing of the appeal at the Court of Appeal has yet to be fixed.
On Jan 31, Coroner Rofiah Mohamad refused the application by the taskforce as an interested party in the inquest on the grounds that it has no clear, substantive and reasonable interests.
The inquest is scheduled for Feb 11 to 28; March 1, 4 and 5; March 19 to 29 and April 1 to 12.
Adib, 24, who was a member of the Subang Jaya Fire and Rescue Station Emergency Medical Rescue Services (EMRS), was seriously injured during a riot at the Seafield Sri Maha Mariamman Temple grounds in USJ 25, Subang Jaya, on Nov 27 last year.
He died at the National Heart Institute on Dec 17.
Some quarters allege that he was assaulted by several rioters, while others argue that he was injured after a fire truck backed into him.