Petition Against Press Law by Charlie Wijaya Declared Inadmissible

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Tuesday, May 4, 2021 | 15:09 WIB

The virtual ruling hearing of the judicial review of Law No. 40 of 1999 on the Press, Tuesday (4/5/2021). Photo by Humas MK/Ifa.

JAKARTA, Public Relations—The Constitutional Court (MK) declared the petition of Law No. 40 of 1999 on the Press inadmissible. “[The Court] adjudicated, declares the Petitioner’s petition inadmissible,” said Chief Constitutional Justice Anwar Usman along with the other constitutional justices at the ruling hearing on Tuesday, May 4, 2021.

The Court examined the petition at a preliminary hearing on December 15, 2020 and advised the Petitioner to revise the petition following the format as regulated by Article 31 paragraphs (1) and (2) of the Constitutional Court Law. The revised petition was then submitted to the Registrar’s Office on December 28, 2020. However, the Petitioner didn’t attend the petition revision hearing because his family member fell ill.

Also read: Charlie Wijaya Challenges Press Law for Defamation

The Court received the revised petition on April 19, 2021, which includes the title, the Petitioner’s details, the Court’s authorities, the Petitioner's legal standing, the posita, and the petitum. However, in its opinion, which was read out by Constitutional Justice Daniel Yusmic P. Foekh, the Court stated that “the petition did not follow the format for a judicial review petition as regulated in Article 31 paragraphs (1) and (2) of the Constitutional Court Law as well as Article 10 paragraph (2) letters a, b, c, and d of the Constitutional Court Regulation No. 2 of 2021 on the Procedural Law for Judicial Review.”

The Court stated that under the Constitutional Court Regulation No. 2 of 2021, a judicial review petition must detail the Petitioner’s profile, a clear elaboration of the background of the petition—including the Court’s authority, the Petitioner’s legal standing, and the background to the petition, as well as the things requested to be ruled.

The Court also stated that the Petitioner didn’t argue enough on the contradiction between the articles petitioned and the touchstones, nor did he argue the unconstitutionality of the norms. Instead, he detailed his concrete case. Based on those considerations, the Court ruled that the petition was obscure, thus not meeting formal requirements. Therefore, it didn’t consider the Petitioner’s legal standing and the petition’s subject matter.

Also read: Petitioner Absent, Hearing on Press Law Delayed

At the preliminary hearing on Tuesday, December 15, 2020, Charlie alleged that Article 18 paragraph (1) of the Press Law had violated his constitutional rights. The article reads, “Everyone who, against the law, deliberately take any action that causes hindrance or prevention of the criteria stated in Article 4 paragraph (2) and paragraph (3) shall be sentenced to 2 (two) years of imprisonment at the maximum or charged with a fine of Rp500,000,000 (five hundred million rupiahs) at the maximum.

The Petitioner alleged that an article entitled “Apologizing After Accusing Comedian Bintang Emon of Narcotics Use” had defamed him and destroyed his reputation. After the press apologized, he asked for compensation for the defamation, insults, and threats that he received due to the erroneous reporting. However, it was denied on the grounds that there was no compensation under the Press Law.

In his petitum, he alleged that the drafting of the law had ignored lawmaking principles. He also alleged that the article had violated Chapter XA of the 1945 Constitution on Human Rights (Article 28D paragraph (1), Article 28G paragraph (1), and Article 28I paragraph (4)).

Writer        : Nano Tresna Arfana
Editor        : Lulu Anjarsari
PR            : Annisa Lestari
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Translation uploaded on 5/4/2021 16:35 WIB

Disclaimer: The original version of the news is in Indonesian. In case of any differences between the English and the Indonesian version, the Indonesian version will prevail.