Pahang won’t let farmers enter state land pending appeal, court hears

pahang won’t let farmers enter state land pending appeal, court hears

The farmers are seeking a temporary order to prevent their eviction as well as an order allowing them into the land in question to maintain their fruits.

PUTRAJAYA: The Pahang government has insisted that it will not allow 131 durian farmers to enter their orchards on state-owned land to cultivate and maintain their fruits, pending their appeal.

State legal adviser Saiful Edris Zainuddin told the Court of Appeal the lower court had ruled that these farmers were not the rightful owners of the land in question.

The durian farmers filed an application to suspend the Kuantan High Court’s decision last month, which dismissed their judicial reviews to quash the eviction notices against them.

The High Court ruled that the farmers were “squatters” and that the state government had not acted in bad faith in chasing them away.

The farmers filed an appeal to set aside the decision, seeking a temporary order to prevent their eviction as well as an order allowing them into the land in question to maintain their fruits.

Saiful said the state government would take action against anyone who trespassed on state-owned land, referring to a recent fine imposed on two people by the state.

He said part of the land’s ownership would be transferred to a private company, Royal Pahang Durian Resources PKPP Sdn Bhd.

Justice Che Ruzima Ghazali, who chaired the panel of judges, asked Saiful whether the state government had cut down all of the durian trees on the land.

“We did not cut the trees. We only demolished the huts,” Saiful said.

Ruzima then asked the farmers’ lawyer, Brendan Navin Siva, about their application.

“Any application for an interim order like the one you made, under Section 44 of the Court of Judicature Act, must be heard by a single judge, not three,” he said.

The other judges who sat with him today were Justices Azman Abdullah and Azmi Ariffin.

Brendan then pleaded for the court to revert the case to case management so that the farmers could seek further instruction from Court of Appeal president Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim and regularise their court documents.

Ruzima later said the panel would not hear the farmers’ application today and fixed the application for case management.

Co-counsel Siew Choon Jern told reporters that they were waiting for the appeals court to inform them of the date.

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