Monday 25 Sep 2023
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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily on January 6, 2020

KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo has proposed that the judiciary allow newly appointed Court of Appeal (COA) president Datuk Rohana Yusof to resume the internal inquiry over possible judicial misconduct by senior judges, as alleged by senior Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Dr Hamid Sultan Abu Backer.

Sangeet, who is the daughter of the late political leader Karpal Singh, said since Chief Justice (CJ) Tan Sri Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat and Rohana’s predecessor, Tan Sri Ahmad Ma’arop, were conflicted, the task should now fall on Justice Rohana to resume the internal probe.

“Since Justice Rohana has stepped into the post of president of the Court of Appeal, she can and should resume the internal probe,” Sangeet told

She said the internal probe should be allowed to continue before many other senior judges retire to investigate the claim and clear the judiciary.

“The code of ethics for judicial officers applies to an internal inquiry in relation to serving judges. That is why it is necessary for the judiciary to acknowledge this fast.

“[Former COA judge Datuk] Moktaruddin Baki has already retired. Are they waiting for the other two to retire also?” she asked.

The lawyer was responding to Justice Tengku Maimun’s comment last Friday, where she revealed that the internal probe by the judiciary had stopped since the police began investigating Justice Hamid’s claim.

Justice Tengku Maimun said she did not know the outcome of the police investigations and whether the case papers are with the Attorney-General’s Chambers.

This follows after the police interviewed several members of the judiciary regarding the allegation made by Justice Hamid who claimed in the affidavit that a senior judge had asked those who sat in Karpal’s appeal for his sedition conviction in the Court of Appeal, in 2016, to maintain the decision.

However, Justice Tengku Maimun dissented and set aside the conviction. Despite this, Karpal’s conviction stands due to the majority decision led by Mohtaruddin and another judge wanted the conviction to stand.

Justice Hamid further claimed that he was reprimanded by a senior judge for dissenting in the M Indira Gandhi case involving the unilateral conversion of her children by her former husband.

Sangeet said she will also write to the police to find out the progress of its investigations into the allegation.

“I will do that this week. Honestly, I don’t think there’s any progress,” she said, adding that she also filed an appeal to the CJ’s office after her challenge was dismissed by the High Court last year.

Sangeet said that she had brought up the issue with the parliamentary caucus chaired by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and it has agreed to push the Cabinet on its stand to have a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) on the judiciary.

Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad announced last February that the Cabinet had agreed to the formation of an RCI on the judiciary and this was reaffirmed last June. However, until today, there is no follow-up on when it would be formed.

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