Ambiguity of Time Lapse for Letter Forgery Questioned

Constitutional Justices Suhartoyo, Saldi Isra, and M. Guntur Hamzah presiding over the material judicial review hearing of the Criminal Law, Tuesday (12/13/2022). Photo by MKRI/Panji.

Tuesday, December 13, 2022 | 16:07 WIB

JAKARTA (MKRI) — The Constitutional Court (MK) held the preliminary hearing of the material judicial review of the Criminal Code (KUHP) on Tuesday, December 13, 2022 in the panel courtroom. The petition No. 118/PUU-XX/2022 was filed by private employee Juliana Helemaya and farmer Asril (Petitioners I-II). Constitutional Justices Suhartoyo, Saldi Isra, and M. Guntur Hamzah presided over the hearing.

The Petitioners challenge Article 79 point 1 of the Criminal Code, which reads, “The term of lapse of time commences on the next day after the day on which that act has been committed, except in the following cases: 1st, in forgery or mutilation of coins the term commences on the next day after the day on which use has been made of the object with respect to which the forgery or mutilation of coins has been committed.”

Through attorneys Faigi’asa Bawamenewi and Ridhuan Syahputra Notatema Zai, the Petitioners expressed the problems they faced. In a concrete case, investigators from the Riau Regional Police and Pekanbaru Police only used Article 79 of the Criminal Code on letter forgery. They calculated the time lapse of forged letters from the time it was used, whereas in several court decisions and legal experts have different interpretations, for example, Bawamenewi said, Supreme Court Decision No. 2224 K/Pid/2009, Bandung High Court Decision No. 261/Pid/2014/PT.Bdg, and Pekanbaru District Court Pretrial Decision No. 05/Pid.Pra/2018/PN.Pbr.

The Petitioners believe that such different interpretations of the time lapse among law enforcers, including the National Police, prosecutors, judges, and lawyers have reduced the protection of the rights of victims and/or reporters and/or injured parties, as they do not get fair legal certainty that is protected by Article 28D paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution. 

Justices’ Advice

Constitutional Justice Saldi Isra provided advice on the format of the petition and the Petitioners’ profiles, which they can observe on petitions uploaded on the Court’s website. He also advised them to mention the Constitutional Court Law and the Constitutional Court regulations on which the Court’s authority over the judicial review of the norm petitioned for in this case is based. He also recommended that they elaborate on their legal standing by describing who they are, the losses they have suffered, and the constitutional rights guaranteed by the Constitution that have been harmed by the enactment of this norm.

“This petition only mentioned the concrete cases, while the validity of the law being reviewed is not being connected to Article 28D paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution. Also, what loss of constitutional rights could potentially be experienced by the Petitioners,” he said.

Next, Constitutional Justice M. Guntur Hamzah said the Petitioners should elaborate what they requested from the change from “the term of lapse of time commences on the next day after the day on which that act has been committed” to “after the act has been discovered” since the legal uncertainty caused by the provision must be detailed along with supporting arguments.

“Also, the decisions cited in this petition need to be observed further and clarified, whether the Supreme Court’s decision was in accordance with the decision or the reasons the prosecutor presented in the trial, and with other decisions,” he advised.

Meanwhile, Constitutional Justice Suhartoyo made recommendations on other matters such as the Constitutional Court’s authority in the a quo case as enshrined in the Constitutional Court Law, the Judiciary Law, and the Lawmaking Law. He also expected them to observe petitions granted by the Court.

“The concrete case may be described, but must also be connected to the touchstone clearly,” he explained.

The panel of justices granted the Petitioners the opportunity to revise the petition until no later than Monday, December 26, 2022 and to submit the petition to the Registrar’s Office. 

Writer        : Sri Pujianti
Editor        : Nur R.
PR            : Tiara Agustina
Translator  : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Translation uploaded on 12/15/2022 10:56 WIB

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

Tuesday, December 13, 2022 | 16:07 WIB 216