Govt Appeals Ruling To Refer Judicial Independence Issue To Federal Court
Senior federal counsel Ahmad Hanir Hambaly says a notice had been filed with the Court of Appeal within the 30-day deadline.PUTRAJAYA: The government has appealed to reverse a High Court ruling to allow three lawyers to refer constitutional questions concerning the separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary to the Federal Court.
Senior federal counsel Ahmad Hanir Hambaly said a notice had been filed with the Court of Appeal within the 30-day deadline.
“Yes, we are appealing and have filed the notice of appeal,” he told FMT in a text message.
As an appellant, the government will have to file a memorandum of appeal after obtaining the written judgment from the High Court.
On July 19, High Court judge Noorin Badaruddin said the case was a matter of fundamental importance as it affected the judiciary as a whole.
“The court is of the view that a definitive and final pronouncement will benefit both parties,” she said in allowing the application by Haris Ibrahim, Nur Ain Mustapa and Sreekant Pillai.
The application arose as a consequence of an investigation by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) on Court of Appeal judge Nazlan Ghazali.
Haris, who is also an activist, and the two lawyers filed a lawsuit in May seeking a declaration that criminal investigation bodies, including MACC, are not entitled or are otherwise precluded from investigating serving judges of the superior courts (High Court, Court of Appeal and Federal Court) unless the judges are suspended as required under the Federal Constitution.
They also want the court to declare that the public prosecutor is not empowered to institute or conduct any proceeding for an offence against serving judges of the superior courts.
In addition, they are seeking a declaration that the investigation by MACC into Nazlan is unconstitutional.
MACC said it had opened an investigation paper following a report lodged on an unexplained sum of more than RM1 million in Nazlan’s bank account.
Nazlan was the trial judge who convicted and sentenced former prime minister Najib Razak on seven charges relating to RM42 million in funds belonging to SRC International Sdn Bhd on July 28, 2020.
The conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal in December. An appeal against the conviction is pending before the Federal Court.
Nazlan previously lodged a police report against fugitive blogger Raja Petra Kamarudin, who alleged that Nazlan was being investigated for unexplained money in his bank account. - FMT
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