Court: Wrong to detain lawyer


  • Nation
  • Wednesday, 25 Feb 2004

BY MAZNI MUSTAFA

IPOH: The Court of Appeal ruled that there were irregularities in the proceedings when a Sessions Court judge ordered lawyer M. Kulasegaran to be detained in a lock-up for contempt of court eight years ago. 

In allowing an appeal by Kulasegaran to nullify the entire proceedings by the lower court, the Court of Appeal, which was presided by a bench of three judges, found that he should not have been sent to the lock-up when he had tendered his apology to purge the contempt order.  

The Appeals Court also established that it was wrong to convict Kulasegaran of contempt when the Sessions Court could not frame any specific charge against him.  

“The court views that the proceedings were irregular and that the entire proceedings should be set aside,” said Judge Tan Sri Ahmad Fairuz Sheikh Abdul Halim when reading the judgment yesterday. 

Ahmad Fairuz was assisted by Datuk Richard Malanjum and Datuk S. Augustine Paul. 

The bench also ruled that the Ipoh High Court should have exercised its power of revision under Section 323 of the Criminal Procedure Code when the case was brought to its attention for review. 

On Nov 31, High Court judge Datuk Abdull Hamid Embong rejected Kulasegaran’s application for the court to revise the decision made by Sessions Court judge Su Geok Yiam on Nov 11, 1996. 

Su had found Kulasegaran guilty of contempt, noting  

that he was playing “chess” with the court by delaying and interfering with the court  

proceedings. 

Su ordered Kulasegaran to be detained in the court lock-up until the court proceedings for the day were over. 

Earlier, defence lawyer Karpal Singh in his submission said there was abuse of power by Su who had failed to explain to Kulasegaran the grounds for finding him guilty.  

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