KOTA KINABALU: An official in the Kota Kinabalu Court House denied rejecting filling of a private complaint from a woman at the magistrate counter yesterday regarding an allegation that a company illegally operates a bazaar Ramadhan and sells a mixture of halal and non-halal food.
The court spokesperson, who confirmed that the complainant (the woman) had come to the counter with her police report but upon examination of the said report, they found out that the contents of the said report, was not complete as the details of the respondent or the person complained against was not mentioned.
“We denied rejecting the request of the said complainant. In fact, we have advised the complainant to first include the respondent’s name in the police report. The name of the respondent is needed for the purpose of issuing the notice of hearing to the deputy public prosecutor and both the complainant and the respondent to appear before a Magistrate for examination.”
“There is no specific form to be filled up in order for the complainant to register her private complaint. The only documents needed are the police report complete with the name of the respondent or person complained against and Pol. 41A (a document) from the police to show that the police is not proceeding with the complaint,” the source.
The said in response to a statement pertaining to the private complaints published in a local daily newspaper on Thursday.
The news article concerned stated that the Head of Sabah PAS Legal Unit, Hamid Ismail, urged the court registry to advise the court counter staff to never refuse accepting the filing of a private complaint by members of the public.
This statement was issued after a complaint by one Hashima Hasbullah was made to Hamid regarding the matter.
In Hamid’s statement, he said that Hashima came to see him in his office and complained that she went to the Kota Kinabalu magistrate counter to file a private complaint to a magistrate regarding an offence committed by a company here who opened up a bazaar Ramadhan without permit from the relevant authorities sold a mixture of sale between halal and non-halal food.
However, at the court counter, when she wanted to file the complaint, a female court staff who allegedly inquired into her complaint and took photograph of her police report about the complaint, refused to accept the filing of that complaint.
“Instead, the court staff had allegedly directed her to go to the Kota Kinabalu City Hall (DBKK) as the staff said that the matter in the complaint was under DBKK’s jurisdiction,” said Hamid.
“The law provides that a magistrate may take cognizance of an offence upon receiving a complaint (Section 128(1)(a) of Criminal Procedure Code). Upon receiving that complaint, the magistrate must comply with the procedure prescribed under Section 133 of the same Code. In short, there is an examination of the complainant by the magistrate.”
“Hence, to refuse receiving a complaint at the counter breaches the right of a member of the public to be heard on his or her complaint. In this case, Hashima’s right to be heard had been breached. This is unfortunate,” he said.
He said the Kota Kinabalu court has been performing well and excellent in all his years practising there.
“Thus, I trust this is only an isolated incident. But it must be avoided. It should not happen again. Hashima was filing a serious matter relating to violation of rules by a company that would affect the Muslim consumers in Kota Kinabalu. That complaint should have been received by the court staff,” he said.-By Evachel J. John/BNN