Early hearing date for Tribunal appeal
House Buyers Association expects it in January next year
NST-PROP 01/11/2003 By Nicholas Mun
The appeal against the High Court decision that the Tribunal for
Homebuyer Claims has no retrospective jurisdiction is expected to be heard either next month or in January next year.
House Buyers Association secretary-general Chang Kim Loong said a
hearing date for the appeal would be fixed by the Court of Appeal Registry when the Memorandum of Appeal, which details the
grounds of the appeal, is lodged sometime next week.
"The court is aware of the public interest involved in this matter and
is willing to fix an early hearing date.
"We have been informed that the earliest possible date could be in
December, but we have to take into account the two-week court vacation that takes place during the second half of the month," said
Under such circumstances, Chang believes that a hearing date in January
next year would be more practical and convenient as all the judges would be back at work by then.
Chang also said the Court of Appeal last week consolidated the two
appeals that arose from the High Court decision delivered by Justice Datuk Md Raus Sharif on Sept 4.
Property developers Puncakdana Sdn Bhd and Westcourt Corp Sdn Bhd had
instituted two separate actions for the judicial review of the Housing Tribunal's competence in hearing claims brought by their
buyers, stemming from Sale and Purchase Agreements (SPA) executed prior to Dec 1, 2002.
"As a result of this, there will only be one hearing, and the decision
will be binding on both the appeals," Chang explained.
Chang is optimistic about the outcome of the appeal and feels that the
buyers involved "have a good chance" of success.
"The buyers hope to have their arguments accepted this time round," he
It is learnt that one of the grounds of the appeal rests on the argument
that permitting the Housing Tribunal to hear pre-Dec 1 disputes would not make criminal laws retrospective, which the Federal
The criminal penalty, applicable for non-compliance of an award, it is
argued, only came into effect after the Tribunal was established and therefore does not criminalise retrospectively any breach of
the SPA by developers.
Another ground, which is believed will be relied on by appellants, is
that the High Court had failed to give due consideration to the intention of Parliament in that the amendments were enacted for
the protection of buyers' rights and interests.