Immunity removal was illegal – RB

FORMER President Rupiah Banda has insisted that the decision to remove his immunity was illegal, null and void as it was based on  wrong  conduct by the National Assembly.

Mr Banda has since appealed to the High Court to quash the decision of the Director of Public Prosecutions to commence criminal proceedings against him based on an alleged illegal decision of the National Assembly to remove his immunity.

In his application made to High Court Justice Annie Sitali, the former head of state has sought an order of certiorari to remove in to court for the purpose of quashing the decision of the DPP to commence criminal proceedings in the subordinate court.

According to an application made before the High Court yesterday, Mr Banda cited three grounds of relief which included the illegality, conditionality and procedural impropriety in protest against the decision to remove his immunity and subsequent prosecution.

“The decision by the DPP to commence criminal proceedings against the applicant is illegal and null and void as the proceedings were commenced on the basis of an illegal decision of the National Assembly to remove the applicant’s immunity by departing from the Parliamentary Rules of Procedure with respect to the subjudice rule,” he said.

Mr Banda charged that the conditionality in the commencement of criminal proceedings was unreasonable to the Wednesbury sense which made it illegal, null and void.

He has asked the court to allow him file additional affidavits in support of the amended grounds.

President Banda is represented by a team of lawyers lead by senior counsel Professor Patrick Mvunga SC and Abyudi Shonga SC while the State was represented by a three member legal team lead by Solicitor General Abraham Mwansa SC.

Meanwhile, Ms Justice Sitali has granted an application for adjournment for the plaintiff to file a consent order in honour of previous discussions between the two concerned parties.

“I can confirm to this court that is most likely that Consent Order will be presented before your ladyship as the areas in differential have been resolved.

“For the aforesaid reasons we would like to ask this court to grant us an adjournment to facilitate the filling in of the Consent Order before you,” Mr Shonga said.

Responding to the application, Solicitor General Mwansa affirmed the sentiments from the plaintiff saying “that is the position as precisely put by my learned brother”.

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