I will challenge contempt charges, says lawyer

Lawyer Arunachalam Kasi, better known as Arun Kasi. (Youtube screenshot)

PETALING JAYA: A lawyer who is to face contempt charges for scandalising the court, has vowed to clear his name in a proceeding that will be held before a Federal Court bench.

Arunachalam Kasi, better known as Arun Kasi, said he had always stood for truth and justice without fear or favour.

“I will challenge the charges as my comments in two articles are constructive criticism and do not border on contempt,” he said.

Arun said he was well aware that “contempt will lower the bar while fair criticism will raise the bar”.

“It is every lawyer’s duty to stand for justice and fair play.

“I hope the Malaysian Bar will also make a stand,” he told FMT.

Earlier today, the Federal Court granted an ex parte application by Attorney-General Tommy Thomas for leave to initiate contempt proceedings against Arun, who allegedly criticised a proceeding and decision of an apex court bench delivered last year.

A three-member bench, chaired by Ramly Ali, allowed Thomas to frame charges and haul Arun before a Federal Court bench later.

Arun’s two articles in reference to allegations of judicial misconduct and removal of certain parts of Court of Appeal judge Abdul Hamid Abu Backer’s dissenting judgment were published in the Aliran online portal recently.

Arun said he was awaiting the legal papers to be served but had already contacted several lawyers in preparation of the case.

“This a crucial matter for me as the decision of the Federal Court will be final because there is no further appeal,” he said.

In November 2016, lawyer TC Nayagam was fined RM150,000 after he pleaded guilty to contempt of court for claiming that a Federal Court bench had plagiarised its judgment.

The following year, another lawyer VK Lingam, who was implicated in a judicial fixing case by a royal commission of inquiry in 2007, was sentenced to six months’ jail after he was found guilty of the same offence.

Lingam has yet to serve the jail term as he is reported to be seeking medical treatment overseas.