Malaysian Bar joins calls for RCI following appellate judge's affidavit

PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian Bar joins in the call for an immediate Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) into allegations by Court of Appeal judge Datuk Dr Hamid Sultan Abu Backer that there were collusions between judges and litigants to pervert the cause of justice.

Malaysian Bar president George Varughese (pic) said the Bar was also disturbed by the admission from Lawyers for Liberty, which alleged that it had proof of similar interferences in the judiciary as alleged by Hamid Sultan.

Varughese stated that as the allegations were made by a senior judge and lawyers, the need for an RCI was even greater as one judge implicated had already resigned and there was a absence of information.

"All these severe allegations of a total collapse of integrity on the part of certain judges erodes public confidence in the Judiciary, perhaps irreparably.

"In light of the inconclusive findings of the Judiciary’s internal investigations into Justice Hamid Sultan’s allegations, due reportedly to the retirement of the judge concerned and other constraints, and the absence of information in respect of any investigation of judicial interference in the appeal of the sedition case of Karpal Singh, the urgency for a thorough investigation by an RCI is greater than ever before.

"The Malaysian Bar restates our call to the Government to establish the RCI at once, and for the scope of the RCI to cover all the new allegations.                                                    

"The proper administration of justice can only rest upon a Judiciary whose independence is absolute and unimpeachable, and upon individual judges whose integrity and impartiality are faultless and unassailable. 

“As the saying goes, even one rotten apple will spoil the entire barrel," said Varughese in a press statement released on Saturday (Feb 16).

He further denied that the Malaysian Bar had remained silent on such allegations and that it had spoken up on the matter many times before.

On Thursday (Feb 14), Judge Hamid Sultan made shocking claims in court papers, alleging scams between certain top judges and private litigants to cheat the government.

The revelation was contained in his 65-page affidavit filed in support of an application by Sangeet Kaur Deo, daughter of the late lawyer Karpal Singh, to declare that the Chief Justice had failed to defend the integrity of the judiciary in court cases.

Hamid said the scams were carried out by nominees of politicians getting into contracts with the government.

Once the government pulled out of a deal, the private parties would take the government to court to claim compensation.

He alleged that these private parties created contracts with the government to defraud public funds, and the apex court was perceived to be sympathetic to them.

Hamid also claimed that a top judge, referred to as “ARLC” became a sort of a “Maharajalela” (tyrant), dictating what judges should do and write.

Soon after the revelation by Hamid Sultan, legal experts and politicians called for an RCI to check on the allegations.

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