Rempang Eco City Case Goes to Court

Constitutional Justice Manahan M. P. Sitompul (left) and Deputy Chief Justice Saldi Isra (right) at the judicial review hearing of the Land Acquisition Law, Tuesday (10/24/2023). Photo by MKRI/Fauzan.

JAKARTA (MKRI) — A Batam resident, Indra Anjani, filed a petition for the judicial review of Law No. 2 of 2012 on Land Acquisition for Development for Public Interest (Land Acquisition Law) to the Constitutional Court (MK). The preliminary hearing for Case No. 137/PUU-XXI/2023 was held on Tuesday, October 24, 2023 in one of the panel courtrooms. The hearing was presided over by Constitutional Justice Manahan M.P. Sitompul (panel chair), Deputy Chief Justice Saldi Isra, and Constitutional Justice Daniel Yusmic P. Foekh.

The Petitioner challenges Article 9 paragraph (1), Article 10, and Article 14 paragraph (1) of the Land Acquisition Law. Article 9 paragraph (1) of the Land Acquisition Law reads, “The implementation of land acquisition for public interests shall pay attention to the balance between development interests and community interests.”

The Petitioner’s legal counsel, Muhammad Iqbal Kholidin, said the norm did not clearly define “development interests and community interests.” The Petitioner asserted that concrete impact of the norm can be seen from the Rempang Eco City development, which is a national strategic project (PSN).

In reality, continued Iqbal, the state has a constitutional obligation to redistribute land through agrarian policies in order to create social justice. Besides that, it also has a legal obligation to redistribute land to people who do not own land. In short, for project developments, the communities impacted should actually receive compensation. However, this has not fully been implemented due to discriminatory actions that could potentially violate the customary rights of communities in coastal areas, which are guaranteed by Article 28I paragraphs (3) and (4) of the 1945 Constitution.

“The a quo articles are not in accordance with the Constitution and violate human rights and one of them is not in accordance with Article 28I paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution,” Iqbal said, reading out the petition’s subject matter online.

Therefore, in his petitum, the Petitioner requested the Court to declare the termination of the Rempang Eco City PSN project or at least declare it suspended.

Furthermore, in his petitum on the subject matter, the Petitioner asked the Constitutional Court to declare Law No. 2 of 2012 on Land Acquisition for Public Interest unconstitutional and not legally binding.

Justices’ Advice

Constitutional Justice Daniel Yusmic P. Foekh questioned the Petitioner’s understanding of Constitutional Court Regulation (PMK) No. 2 of 2021, especially Article 10 paragraph (2) letter a, which contains the format of a judicial review petition. He also asked the Petitioner to add an explanation of the Court’s authority in the latest rules laws and regulations. 

Meanwhile, in his advice, Deputy Chief Justice Saldi Isra said that several articles challenged in this petition, including Article 9 paragraph (1), Article 10, and Article 14 paragraph (1) need to be structured with clear arguments.

“If you want all of these laws canceled, you must explain why these laws are contrary to Article 28D paragraph (1) of the 1945 Constitution. This explanation is not provided in this petition. So, please reconsider whether you want certain articles or the whole law to be reviewed. If you look at the petition, (the Petitioner) wants (to challenge) everything but the background of the petition only mentioned some of the articles. If you do not revise it, this petition will be inadmissible (niet ontvankelijke verklaard) or vague. There must be a connection between the reason for filing the petition and the petitum,” he advised.

Next, Constitutional Justice Manahan M.P. Sitompul asked the Petitioner to look at the Court’s previous decisions related to this petition. In Decision No. 50/PUU-X/2012, the Constitutional Court had ruled on the constitutionality of Article 9 paragraph (1), Article 10, Article 14 paragraph (1), and Article 21 paragraph (1) of the Land Acquisition Law. “So, if you want to say that this entire law has no legal force, you should study case No. 50 first. And also try to understand the implementation of the Law or its implementation in the field or if this is indeed an issue of the norm,” he explained.

At the end of the hearing, Justice Manahan informed the Petitioner that he would have 14 workdays to revise his petition and to submit it to the Court’s Registrar Office no later than Monday, November 6, 2023 at 09:00 WIB.

Author       : Sri Pujianti
Editor        : Nur R.
PR            : Tiara Agustina
Translator  : Tahlitha Laela/Yuniar Widiastuti (NL)

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, October 24, 2023 | 19:17 WIB 146