Drop charge against lawyer, Karpal Singh urges A-G

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 26 Jan 2003

PETALING JAYA: DAP deputy chairman Karpal Singh has called on Attorney-General Datuk Abdul Gani Patail to withdraw the charge against lawyer P. Uthayakumar, claiming that his arrest and detention were unjustified and unwarranted. 

Karpal Singh said that in 1974 and 1975,two lawyers, the late Karam Singh and K. Kumaraendran, were in a similar predicament but were merely referred to the Bar Council's disciplinary board. 

He added that in both cases the judges were of the view that the powers of contempt of court invoked by the two magistrates were unwarranted. 

“The prosecution of Uthayakumar flies in the face of the decisions in the cases of Karam Singh and Kumaraendran because the matter has been taken a step further by resorting to a criminal prosecution,” he said. 

Karpal Singh added that the A-G should act swiftly and withdraw the charge to give spirit and expression to the independence of the Bar. 

“He should do so in the public interest that demands it,” Karpal Singh said. 

Last Tuesday, Uthayakumar, 41, was charged in the magistrate's court with criminal intimidation of a police officer and contempt of court. 

He allegedly intimidated Chief Inspector Ponnaiya Ganasen by using certain words and committed contempt of court at the same place and time during the inquest into the death of police detainee Tharma Rajen Subramaniam. 

In addition, Uthayakumar allegedly insulted magistrate Norazmi Mohd Narawi by ignoring the latter's orders that he would be asked to leave the court if he did not keep quiet.  

In an alternate charge, he was accused of interrupting court proceedings, resulting in the case being postponed.  

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