Lawyer mulls withdrawing suit against CJ after agreement to RCI

Lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo.

KUALA LUMPUR: Lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo, who filed an action against the chief justice alleging misconduct in the judiciary, is considering withdrawing her suit now that the government has decided to set up a royal commission of inquiry (RCI) into the matter.

“I am considering my position, but as it stands, my suit does not affect the setting up of the RCI,” she told judge Mohd Firuz Jaffril during case management today.

Firuz fixed March 13 for the relevant parties to update the court.

Sangeet also served her affidavit-in-reply to Chief Justice Richard Malanjum today, along with the 65-page affidavit of Court of Appeal judge Hamid Sultan Abu Backer.

Federal counsel S Narkunavathy, who appeared for the chief justice, said she needed two weeks to respond to Sangeet.

Hamid’s affidavit alleging judicial misconduct and interference was filed on Feb 14.

In response, the Cabinet agreed last week to set up an RCI, with Attorney-General Tommy Thomas to finalise the terms of reference and composition of the tribunal.

On Jan 14, Sangeet sought a declaration against Malanjum for allegedly failing in his duty to complete investigations into two widely publicised cases of judicial interference.

The first was the late Karpal Singh’s sedition appeal before the Court of Appeal, where an allegation was made by lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla, published by FMT on Aug 22 last year.

In the second case, Hamid claimed that a top judge at an international law conference on Aug 16 had interfered with the M Indira Gandhi unilateral conversion case.

In her originating summons filed at the High Court, Sangeet said Malanjum was duty-bound to investigate the matters as they were serious attacks on the integrity and credibility of the judiciary.

Sangeet, who is Karpal’s daughter, said that as an interested party, she was adversely affected and entitled to all information and findings by the judiciary.

Malanjum’s special officer, Mohd Aizuddin Zolkeply, in an affidavit in reply to Sangeet’s originating summons, said investigations into Karpal’s case were suspended due to an ongoing police probe and the pending appeal before the Federal Court.

He also said the probe into Karpal’s case could not be carried out then as the three Court of Appeal judges were still serving.

On the second case, Aizuddin said the investigation into the alleged misconduct could not be carried out as the judge in question had already retired.