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Will CJ Fairuz now pick up the gauntlet and take action against the Federal Court Judge who has 33 outstanding judgments involving both criminal and civil cases?

Media Statement (3)
by Lim Kit Siang  

(Parliament, Thursday): On Tuesday, Chief Justice Tun Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim flatly denied that there was any Federal Court judge who had not written as many as 30 grounds of judgment.

He said: “According to our records, we do not have such a thing. There is no Federal Court judge who has such a big amount of grounds of decisions to write”.

Today, New Straits Times front page carried a report by its reporter V. Anbalagan that Court of Appeal registry’s records revealed that a former High Court judge (who is now a Federal Court judge) did not write grounds of judgment in 33 criminal and civil cases.

The backlog included three criminal cases in Seremban which carried the death penalty.

The judge presided over the cases while serving at the High Court there five years ago.

The rest are civil cases in which he made rulings while there and in Kuala Lumpur between 1999 and 2002.

Anbalagan, who had filed the original NST report on July 23 revealing the judge had not provided written grounds of judgment in at least 30 criminal and civil cases, wrote:

“It is understood that the litigants in all 33 cases had filed notices of appeal against decisions by the judge who is now sitting in the Federal Court.

“Checks with lawyers representing the accused in the three criminal cases revealed that they were still awaiting written grounds to file the memorandum of appeal to the Court of Appeal.

“In one case, the Attorney-General’s Chambers is also awaiting the written judgment as it intends to cross appeal.”

The report also said:

“On Aug 16, it was reported that two men were languishing on Death Row in Kajang prison because the judge who convicted them at the High Court in Seremban had not provided grounds of judgment.

“Another person was also ordered by the same judge to be held at the Sungai Buloh prison at the pleasure of the Yang di-Pertuan Besar of Negri Sembilan on grounds of insanity.”

As the Chief Justice had denied that there is a Federal Court judge with over 30 outstanding grounds of judgment, will Fairuz now pick up the gauntlet and take action against the Federal Judge who has 33 outstanding judgments involving both criminal and civil cases as well as publicly apologise for misleading the Malaysian public that he had been able to head a competent and professional judiciary?

What is most shocking is that Fairuz could seriously propose the Federal Court judge concerned as the Chief Judge of Malaya, precipitating an unprecedented seven-month constitutional crisis with the Conference of Rulers, leaving the vacancy unfilled.

Will Fairuz take out the Federal Court judge concerned from all current Federal Court cases until he had written up all the grounds of judgments of 33 outstanding civil and criminal cases before announcing the suitable form of disciplinary action that should be meted out for such judicial misconduct?


* Lim Kit Siang, Parliamentary Opposition Leader, MP for Ipoh Timur & DAP Central Policy and Strategic Planning Commission Chairman

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