Lawyer granted discharge by court


  • Nation
  • Tuesday, 06 May 2003

BY LOONG MENG YEE

SHAH ALAM: Lawyer P. Uthayakumar has been granted a discharge of a verbal criminal intimidation act allegedly inflicted upon a policeman at the Sepang magistrate’s court on Sept 3, last year.  

High Court judge Datuk Suriyadi Halim Omar called for goodwill to prevail among the dissenting parties.  

“Due to the chequered history of this case and the wide reporting of the matter; the police department, the legal fraternity and the court are uncomfortably under intense scrutiny of the public. 

“Perhaps this whole episode could be put to rest permanently if all parties put their heads together and goodwill prevails,” he said. 

Justice Suriyadi added it was gratifying that Uthayakumar had apologised to the magistrate concerned. 

“The Attorney-General had indicated another contempt charge against Uthayakumar would be withdrawn.” 

Uthayakumar was charged on Jan 21 for criminally intimidating Chief Insp G. Poniayah by the threatening words: “you watch out, I will fix, we will fix you” at 4.15pm, at the Sepang magistrate court on Sept 3, last year.  

The words were allegedly uttered during an inquest proceeding.  

Justice Suriyadi said had common sense prevailed, another officer should have been enlisted to resolve the bail matter, a constitutional right intertwined with the liberty and freedom of an individual. He also noted that the criminal intimidation charge on Uthayakumar was not precise. 

He added that the charge had not clarified whether the threat was to cause death, grievous hurt, destruction of property by fire, or to cause an offence punishable with death or imprisonment 

“It cannot be overstated that a charge must be certain in all cases as, otherwise, an accused will be left guessing, and prejudicially embarrassed in not knowing what he had contravened or how to counter the allegations,” he said. 

On Uthayakumar’s claims of police harassment when he was detained at the Sepang police station on Jan 16, Justice Suriyadi commented that the police officers involved should have adhered to the Criminal Procedure Code. 

He said the policemen involved should not have behaved like lords and masters in their little fiefdom, where others were equivalent to serfs and open to abuses and directions.  


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