PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has allowed the Attorney-General to take over the contempt of court proceedings against Datuk V.K. Lingam and 24 others for alleging that a panel of three Federal Court judges had plagiarised a civil judgment.
Federal Court judge Justice Suriyadi Halim Omar, who chaired a five-man panel, allowed an application by two liquidators to withdraw from commencing the proceedings against the lawyer and the others.
The liquidators’ lawyer, Lim Chee Wee, sought for the withdrawal, saying that they would do so if the A-G took over the proceedings, while Senior Federal Counsel Amarjeet Singh told the panel that they would take over if the court allowed the withdrawal by the liquidators.
Lingam’s counsel Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram did not object to the A-G taking over, adding that his client, who is now abroad on a three-month medical leave, would testify in the apex court on Dec 8.
Sitting together with Justice Suriyadi are Justices Zaleha Zahari, Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha, Abu Samah Nordin and Ramly Ali.
The A-G filed papers on July 7 to seek leave to take over the contempt proceedings on grounds that he had rights to be the applicant as the custodian of public interest.
Among others, the A-G said that the move was to ensure the integrity of judiciary and justice system in the country stayed protected.
In August last year, Justice Suriyadi ruled that the application by Lingam and the 24 others to set aside leave granted by the apex court to commence contempt proceedings against them was without merit.
The Federal Court had, on April 3, 2012, granted leave to two liquidators to initiate contempt proceedings against Lingam and the others 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.