Two University Students Question Obligation to Care for Lunatics
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Constitutional Justice Manahan M. P. Sitompul chairing the panel preliminary hearing of the judicial review of the Criminal Code, Tuesday (3/14/2023). Photo by MKRI/Ifa.

Tuesday, March 14, 2023 | 16:46 WIB

JAKARTA (MKRI) — Two university students, Risky Kurniawan (Batam International University) and Michael Munte (Atma Jaya University of Yogyakarta), filed a judicial review petition against Article 491 paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code to the Constitutional Court (MK). The hearing for case No. 24/PUU-XXI/2023, presided over by Constitutional Justices Manahan M. P. Sitompul (panel chair), Wahiduddin Adams, and M. Guntur Hamzah, took place on Tuesday, March 14, 2023.

The article reads, “By a maximum fine of fifty rupiahs shall be punished: 1) any person who, being charged with the surveillance of a lunatic dangerous for himself and for others, allows said lunatic to wander unguarded.”

Risky Kurniawan said Article 491 paragraph (1) of the Criminal Code did not specify who is being charged with the surveillance of a lunatic. Staatsblad 1897 No. 54, he added, that individuals are not charged with taking care of lunatics. Any such obligation is moral in nature, thus, cannot be demanded as a legal obligation.

Government’s Obligation

The obligation, he argued, should be borne by the Government since any immediate family members of the lunatic can file a request to the local district court to have the lunatic sent to a psychiatric hospital. The Petitioners argued that the a quo Law does not have a clear parameter and could lead to issues for legal subjects when it is used to criminalize.

“The loss here is potential, where it could be that when walking on the street, we see a lunatic who is damaging a public property. This article has multiple interpretations since immediate family members should be charged with caring for [lunatics],” he said virtually from Batam.

Justices’ Advice

Constitutional Justice M. Guntur Hamzah advised the Petitioners to study the Constitutional Court Regulation (PMK) No. 2 of 2021 on the Procedural Law for Judicial Review Cases, especially the standard format of petition, which is available on the Court’s website. A petition, he explained, should have the Petitioners’ profiles and legal standing.

“By observing petitions that have been filed to the Court, the Petitioners can explain their legal standing so there will be no issue in the future. Explain your direct, actual, and potential loss due to the enactment of the norm,” he said.

Next, Constitutional Justice Manahan M. P. Sitompul gave a note on the Court’s authority in the Judicial Law and the Constitutional Court Law over the case. He also advised them to mention the article petitioned clearly and to study the Court’s procedural law for judicial review as a guide to revise the petition.

The Petitioners were given 14 days until Monday, March 27, 2023 at 13:00 WIB to revise the petition and submit it to the Registrar’s Office so that the next hearing can be scheduled.

Author         : Sri Pujianti
Editor          : Nur R.
PR               : Andhini S. F.
Translator     : Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

Translation uploaded on 3/15/2023 09:38 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, March 14, 2023 | 16:46 WIB 169
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