State asks ConCourt to dismiss HH’s petition to avoid embarrassing judiciary

Attorney General Likando Kalaluka has asked the Constitutional Court to dismiss Hakainde Hichilema’s petition asking it to strike off the provisions of the law which makes it impossible for treason accused persons to get bail.

In his application yesterday, Kalaluka said it would be embarrassing for the judiciary if its ruling was different from the High Court’s ruling.

Last week, HH filed two separate petitions in the High Court and ConCourt over his unlawful arrest and the removal of some provisions which forbids the court to grant bail to accused persons facing charges that carry the sentence of capital penalty.

But the Attorney General filed an application before the ConCourt to set aside the petition for duplicity.

When the matter came up before the panel of judges lead by ConCourt president Hildah Chibomba yesterday, Kalaluka pleaded with the court to set aside the petition as it will be embarrassing if two courts comes up with conflicting decisions.

“Bringing two petitions based in same facts,seeking same reliefs is likely to lead to two conflicting decisions which will result in embarrassment to this court and the judiciary,”said Kalaluka.

Kalaluka further submitted that filing the same petitions was tantamount to forum shopping.

“Forum shopping is an abuse which should not be tolerated. All issues should be brought before the same court,” said Kalaluka.

But Hichilema’s lawyers lead by John Sangwa insisted that the the petition should be heard because it had merit.

Sangwa said Kalaluka’s argument lacked merit.

“My lords and ladies there is no merit in this argument by the Attorney General,”said Sangwa.

Sangwa also said the laws cited in bringing the two petitions were different and so the hearing of the petition should proceed.

He said the ConCourt had no jurisdiction to enforce the Bill of Rights which affected the reliefs Hichilema was seeking from the High Court.

“They are distinct issues here this court has no jurisdiction or authority to enforce the Bill of Rights I don’t see multiplicity here the issues raided are very clear,”said Sangwa.

Ruling has been reserved to a date to be communicated.

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