The daughter of the late Karpal Singh, Sangeet Kaur Deo, today filed a suit against the chief justice seeking a declaration that he had failed to protect and defend the integrity of the judiciary with regards to her father’s sedition case.
She also claimed that the chief justice, whom she did not name, did not address the allegations made by a Court of Appeal judge who made the dissenting judgment in the M Indira Gandhi case.
In her originating summons filed at the Kuala Lumpur High Court, Sangeet also sought a declaration that she is entitled to have information regarding the internal probe conducted by the judiciary on the two cases.
This as a person who had her rights affected and an expectation of an impartial judiciary free from any interference, she said.
Sangeet said all the three judges who sat for her father’s appeal case two years ago are still serving as judges and hence they were bound by the Judges’ Code Committee 2010 and the Judges’ Code of Ethics 2009.
The lawyer, in the brief grounds of her application, alleged that the CJ had failed in his statutory duty on the internal investigations into the two matters that amounted to judicial interference and in issuing a press release dated last Nov 28 to suspend the probes.
Sangeet said that as a member of the Malaysian Bar and counsel for her late father’s sedition case appeal, she was an affected person and had a legitimate expectation for an independent and impartial judiciary that was free from interference.
She further questioned the move by the CJ on Nov 28 to temporarily suspend the investigations and also the hearing of Karpal’s appeal at the Federal Court and that such actions amounted to bad faith and was bad in law.
In her affidavit in support, Sangeet said there has not been any development since Nov 28 over the matters and hence she wanted to know the outcome of the internal probes.
It was reported that Sangeet had lodged a police report last August following revelations from a lawyer Mohd Haniff Khatri Abdulla that an unnamed senior judge reportedly meddled in the majority decision to allow Karpal’s appeal and acquit him of a sedition charge.
The senior judge allegedly told the judges hearing the appeal to change their decision.
Haniff made the allegation in a Facebook posting adding that he would only reveal the source of his information when and if a royal commission of inquiry is called or a tribunal convened.
Karpal was initially acquitted of sedition, but on appeal by the prosecution at the Court of Appeal, his defence was ordered and subsequently he was found guilty and fined RM4,000 by the High Court. This was in regards to his comments in 2009 on the Perak imbroglio.
The conviction was upheld by the appellate court in 2016, but the fine was reduced to RM1,800.
On the other matter, appellate court judge Hamid Sultan Abu Backer revealed during a law conference last year that he was reprimanded by a senior judge for writing the dissenting judgment in the M Indira Gandhi case.
As a result of the two revelations, Chief Justice Richard Malanjum promised to look into the matters last August, but sometime in November said he was suspending the internal inquiry pending a police probe. – Malaysiakini