Suspended senior judge Hamid Sultan withdraws legal action against two lawyers

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Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Dr Hamid Sultan Abu Backer has withdrawn his legal action against two lawyers to challenge the Judges’ Ethics Committee’s (JEC) investigations into two complaints that had been raised by other judges in relation to Hamid Sultan’s judgment.

Hari Anggara

Datuk Joy Wilson Appukuttan, who acted for Hamid Sultan, told Bernama they decided to withdraw the originating summons (OS) against lawyers Sangeet Kaur Deo and Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla as the third and fourth defendants for the reason that the matters raised in the OS have become nugatory arising from JEC’s decision to suspend his client from office starting Feb 4 until Aug 27, 2021.

“We have informed the court about our application to withdraw the OS against Haniff Khatri and Sangeet. The court then granted our application with no order as to costs and struck out the OS,” he said after the matter came up for a case management through e-Review before High Court Deputy Registrar Firdaus Sidqi Sharil Azli today.

Asked whether his client has filed an appeal against JEC’s decision to suspend his client, the lawyer said that he has yet to get any instructions from Hamid Sultan.

On Feb 4, JEC, chaired by Chief Justice Tun Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, suspended Hamid Sultan from the office until August 27, 2021.

The decision was made in a closed-door inquiry at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya.

The inquiry was held to investigate two complaints against Hamid Sultan. The first was a complaint by another judge in relation to his (Hamid Sulltan’s) judgment as the Court of Appeal judge in the Public Prosecutor’s case against Aluma Mark Chinonso & Anor.

The second was over the affidavit Hamid Sultan affirmed in support of an originating summons filed by lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo, who sought several declarations with respect to court decisions made in her late father Karpal Singh’s appeals.

Hamid Sultan became the first judge to be suspended since the Judges’ Ethics Committee Act 2010 came into effect.

On Oct 9 last year, Hamid Sultan had filed the originating summons against the four defendants – JEC, its chairman, Sangeet, Haniff Khatri – over allegations that JEC could investigate the judgment he delivered and the affidavit he affirmed in support of an originating summons filed by Sangeet.

On Jan 21 this year, the High Court here allowed the application by JEC and its chairman to quash the originating summons.