Puchong MP Gobind Singh Deo says the Attorney General's discretionary powers must be taken away.
“The AG must be put in a position where he can be called upon to explain his decisions. Opening his decisions to review would ultimately plant a greater sense of responsibility on his part in the exercise of his duties as Public Prosecutor,” he said today.
At present, the AG has sole discretionary powers under Article 145 of the Federal Constitution to commence criminal prosecutions.
Gobind said there must be transparency and accountability in the field of decision making in the criminal justice system.
Among his suggestions included the setting up of a committee that reviews decisions of the Attorney General and is answerable to the Parliament.
“It may be important to also consider making it compulsory for this committee to report to Parliament every year so that there is greater scrutiny and balance in their handling of complaints,” said Gobind who is also DAP’s national legal bureau chairman.
He also suggested that the courts be empowered to check and balance the Attorney General’s decision to prosecute.
“Another way would be to legislate to empower courts to determine whether or not certain decisions to prosecute are tainted and therefore liable to be set aside.
“The reverse would apply where no decision to prosecute is taken where evidence of an offence and the perpetrator is overwhelming.
“The short of it is that we must recognise that there is the need for us to revamp the office of the AG and his powers,” said Gobind.
Among the major cases that have been heavily criticised is DAP national chairman Karpal Singh’s sedition case, PAS deputy president Mohamad Sabu’s sedition case over his Mat Indera remark and the latest, PKR strategy director Rafizi Ramli who was charged under the Bank and Financial Institutions Act 1989 on Wednesday.