Bid to disqualify Sri Ram fails again

KUALA LUMPUR: Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor has failed in her bid to disqualify Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram from leading the prosecution in her corruption case involving the RM1.25bil solar hybrid project.

Just one day short of the decision in the solar hybrid case, the High Court allowed a preliminary objection by the Attorney General’s Chambers (AGC) involving Rosmah’s application for leave to commence judicial review in her attempt to remove Sri Ram.

Justice Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid, in his decision, said Rosmah’s leave application was not seeking the court to review a decision of an inferior court nor decision in relation to the exercise of public duty or function.

“I observe that the instant application is unprecedented in the context of the Malaysian judiciary where a party is actually seeking a High Court to judicial review the decision of another High Court,” he said.

The court ruled that it was not necessary to deal with the merits of the application.

“This court has no jurisdiction to grant leave to hear the substantive judicial review application.

“The applicant’s application for leave to commence judicial review proceedings is hereby dismissed,” he said in his decision which was delivered via email exchange.

On Sept 24, 2021, High Court judge Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan, the presiding judge in Rosmah’s solar hybrid trial, dismissed Rosmah’s application to disqualify Sri Ram.

He ruled that Sri Ram’s appointment by then Attorney General Tan Sri Tommy Thomas was valid under Section 376(3) of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC).

Rosmah appealed but it was dismissed by the Court of Appeal on Dec 6, 2021.

On May 27, the Federal Court ruled that Sri Ram was qualified to prosecute Rosmah in the solar hybrid project trial.

A three-member Bench led by Federal Court judge Justice Mohd Zawawi Salleh ruled that the criminal court had no jurisdiction to grant declaratory relief sought by Rosmah to disqualify Sri Ram.

On June 24, Rosmah, 70, tried again to remove Sri Ram by filing for leave to initiate the judicial review application.

She named the Attorney General/Public Prosecutor, the government and Sri Ram as respondents.

She is facing one charge of soliciting RM187.5mil and two counts of receiving bribes totalling RM6.5mil from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin through her former special officer Datuk Rizal Mansor.

It was alleged to be an inducement to help the company (Jepak Holdings) secure the Hybrid Photovoltaic Solar System Integrated Project and Maintenance and Operation of Genset/Diesel for 369 rural schools in Sarawak, worth RM1.25bil.

The trial at the High Court has concluded with the verdict scheduled to be delivered tomorrow.

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