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Friday August 23, 2013 MYT 1:19:00 PM
Friday August 23, 2013 MYT 3:42:33 PM
by m. mageswari
PUTRAJAYA: Lawyer Datuk V.K. Lingam and 24 others are facing contempt of court charges for alleging a panel of three judges had plagiarised in a civil judgment.
Federal Court judge Justice Suriyadi Halim Omar ruled that the application by Lingam and 24 others to set aside leave granted by the apex court to commence contempt proceedings against them was without merit.
"We find (there is) no procedural error in (two liquidators) obtaining leave (to cite them for contempt of court)," Justice Suriyadi, who chaired a five-man panel, said.
With him were Federal Court judges Justices Ahmad Maarop,Hasan Lah, Zaleha Zahari and Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha.
Justice Suriyadi said that they were satisfied that a prima facie case has been established against all of them.
"We dismiss the setting aside application with costs," he said.
He said that the Bench made the ruling after hearing submissions and considered available evidence over the application.
The panel reserved the order as to costs until disposal of the substantive application.
Lingam's counsel Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram told the Bench that his client would be giving evidence in court.
Sri Ram said his application was made under Order 52 Rule 5(4) of the Rules of the High Court 1980 and Order 52 Rule 6(4) of the Rules of Court 2012 that stated such a person was entitled to give oral evidence.
Lingam applied for the court to set a date for case management as few of his clients were overseas.
Sri Ram said the bench could opt for the registry to issue a notice for case management for the parties involved in the civil dispute.
Justice Suriyadi said they agreed for this as "We are not sure if we will be hearing the cases. Some of us maybe (will be hearing the contempt proceedings)," he added.
The Federal Court had in April last year granted leave to two liquidators to initiate contempt proceedings against Lingam and 24 others over a review application on issues of plagiarism by a panel of three judges.
The two liquidators – Ooi Woon Chee and Ng Kim Tuck – sought leave for Lingam to be committed for contempt of court for advising, drafting and/or filing the review application and its related affidavit at the apex court over a civil judgment concerning a company’s sale of shares.
The two claimed that Lingam and others should have known that the statements contained in the documents would subvert the administration of justice, undermine public confidence in the judiciary, ridicule, scandalise and offend the dignity, integrity and impartiality of the court.
They also sought leave to commit former Kian Joo Can Factory Bhd (KJCF) group managing director Datuk See Teow Chuan for contempt of court for instructing, affirming and/or authorising the filing of the review application.
Chief Justice Arifin Zakaria, who chaired a five-man panel, had held that a prima facie case had been made out by the liquidators to grant leave to them to commit Lingam, 12 majority contributories and 11 minorities involved in the tussle over a company’s shares and a former solicitor who acted for the minority in the matter, for contempt of court.
In its Feb 13 review application, See, who is still a non-independent and non-executive director of KJCF, and 13 others, had urged the Federal Court to review a civil judgment concerning a company’s sale of shares, claiming there were issues of plagiarism.
See and the others are the majority contributories of family investment holding company Kian Joo Holdings Sdn Bhd (in liquidation), which was ordered by a High Court to be wound up in 1996.
The apex court had also, in May last year, rejected the claim that one of its panels had plagiarised the submissions of lawyers for two liquidators in its decision regarding the company’s civil dispute.
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