KUALA LUMPUR: Five National Defence University of Malaysia (UPNM) students, standing trial over the death of naval cadet Zulfarhan Osman Zulkarnain, lost their bid to challenge the cancellation of their appointment as UPNM Military Training Academy cadet officers.
High Court judge Datuk Azizah Nawawi made the decision after allowing a preliminary objection by the Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) today.
Each student was ordered to pay RM1,000 in costs.
On Feb 12, Muhammad Akmal Akif Alias; Ahmad Shafwan Berdal; Mohamad Syazwan Musa; Muhamad Ashraf Abdullah; and Muhammad Amirul Ashraff Mala, all 21, who were accused of causing injury to fellow cadet officer Zulfarhan, filed the judicial review application naming the UPNM Military Training Academy, UPNM, the Ministry of Defence and the government, as respondents.
Federal counsel M. Kohilambigai, who acted on behalf of the respondents, on Feb 26 raised a preliminary objection (PO) on grounds that the Military Training Academy and the Ministry of Defence should not have been named as respondents in the application for judicial review.
It was stated in the PO application that the students had made a mistake naming UPNM and the government as respondents as both parties were not decision makers and their appointment as cadet officers was under the jurisdiction of the Armed Forces Council.
The five, who were suspended from their studies, were seeking a certiorari order to revoke the decision of the respondents dated Oct 19, 2017 regarding the cancellation of their appointment as Academy Cadet Officers and termination of their service from the Malaysian Armed Forces.
They claimed that the decision made by the respondents were premature, null and void and contravened the Agreement on Studying and Training at the University dated May 12, 2014.
Akmal, Shafwan, Syazwan, Ashraf and Amirul are standing trial for a charge of voluntarily causing hurt to Zulfarhan with intention of extracting a confession over the alleged theft of a laptop on May 23, last year.
Zulfarhan, a third year student, died on June 1, the same year, due to alleged bullying.