The High Court in Lilongwe yesterday deferred a ruling on an order that would have lifted an injunction on government to table the controversial Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) Act (Amendment) Bill in Parliament.
It is likely that thegovernment’s plan to table the Bill may only materialise next year, since thecurrent session of Parliament is expected to conclude tomorrow.
The High Court deferred to a later date ruling on an inter partes hearing of the matter, stating there is need to file more documents before it can make a determination to grant the ruling.
This means the injunction the CSOs took against Parliament and Leader of the House Kondwani Nankhumwa not to table the Bill still stands.
In a judicial review case number 4 of 2018 between Centre for Human Rights Rehabilitation Centre, Youth and Society and Centre for Development of People, against Parliament and Leader of Government in the House, the CSOs asked for a leave for judicial review of the decision to table the bill, describing it as draconian and evil.
Upon hearing the application, the court granted the leave and ordered the claimants to file an inter partes summons.
In an interview after the inter partes hearing, CSOs lawyer Wesley Mwafulirwa said they will abide by the court order.
“The court has deferred the ruling today, meaning the order still stands and they have told us to file more submissions,” he said.
On his part, Attorney General Kalekeni Kaphale said there was nothing he could elaborate on what transpired during the hearing, saying: “Both sides argued on the matter and we are waiting for the ruling.”