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AG gets to initiate contempt proceedings against lawyer

Arunachalam Kasi

Arunachalam Kasi

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PUTRAJAYA, Feb 27 2019 : The Federal Court today granted an ex-parte application for leave by Attorney-General Tommy Thomas to initiate contempt proceedings against a lawyer who had allegedly criticised the proceedings and decision of a court case.

Justice Tan Sri Ramly Ali, who chaired a three-man bench, allowed Thomas to go ahead with the proceedings against Arunachalam Kasi who had, in two articles published on the Aliran online portal, made the alleged criticism in reference to an affidavit of Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Dr Abdul Hamid Abu Backer on alleged judicial misconduct.

The court fixed March 13 for a substantive inter-partes hearing for both parties to submit.

“The case before us is an ex-parte application. This is on scandalising judges of the Federal Court. The act complained of relates to two articles by the respondent (Arunachalam Kasi or known as Arun Kasi) published on Feb 16 and Feb 22, 2019, on the Aliran website.

“Having considered the submissions and all the court papers, we are satisfied that all procedures required for leave have been fulfilled. We, therefore, grant the order sought by the applicant,” said Justice Ramly, who heard the matter with Justices Datuk Rohana Yusuf and Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat.

Earlier, the court heard submissions by Senior Federal Counsel Datuk Amarjeet Singh who represented the attorney-general. Amarjeet Singh submitted that Arun, who is an advocate and solicitor, had authored two articles which were published on the Aliran website under the heading “How a dissenting judgment sparked a major judicial crisis” dated Feb 16, 2019, and “Tommy Thomas must look into arbitration centre that sparked judicial crisis” dated Feb 22, 2019.

He said that in both articles, he had criticised the conduct of the proceedings by the Federal Court and the decision which was delivered on Nov 11, 2018, in the case of PCP Construction vs Leap Modulation (the Leap Modulation case).

“The statements in the articles impute impropriety in carrying out judicial functions and lack of integrity by the judges who had decided the Leap Modulation case.

“The conduct and the irregularities committed in the case were said to warrant an investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC). The respondent had, on Feb 9, 2019, made such a complaint against the irregularities committed in the case,” he said. 

Amarjeet Singh said the contempt committed in the case was “scandalising contempt” for interfering with the administration of justice. – Bernama

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