Retired Federal Court judge Tan returns to the bench

Federal CourtPETALING JAYA: Retired judge Jeffrey Tan Kok Hwa has been appointed Additional Judge of the Federal Court, the second time that a judicial officer has been returned to the bench.

The last was Federal Court judge S Chelvasingam MacIntyre in the late 1960s.

Article 121 (1A) of the Federal Constitution allows for such an appointment.

It states that the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, acting on the advice of the Chief Justice, may appoint for a purpose or for a specific period, a person who had held high judicial office to be an additional judge of the apex court.

A press statement by the Federal Court’s corporate communication unit, made available to FMT, revealed that Tan took office on July 1 for a duration of two years.

However, no reason has been offered as to why the appointment is necessary.

Tan clocked out for the last time as Federal Court judge in November last year to begin his mandatory retirement, after a six-month extension.

A former lawyer, Tan, who was made High Court judge in 1996, had served in Penang, Muar, and Johor Baru.

He was elevated to the Court of Appeal in 2009 and to the Federal Court in 2012.

He was in the five-man bench led by Chief Judge of Malaya Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin that heard the corruption appeal by former Selangor Menteri Besar Dr Mohd Khir Toyo on Jan 19, 2015.

Dr Khir, a former Sungai Panjang assemblyman, was found guilty of obtaining for himself and his wife, Zahrah Kechik, two lots of land and a house in Shah Alam from Ditamas Sdn Bhd director Shamsuddin Hayroni at RM3.5 million.

He was sentenced to 12 months’ jail and the property was confiscated.

Another high profile case, for which Tan had provided a written judgment, was the controversial crooked bridge project in Johor Baharu involving businessman Shazryl Eskay Abdullah.