PETALING JAYA: Lawyer Arunachalam Kasi, better known as Arun Kasi, who was found guilty of contempt of court last month and jailed for 30 days, is seeking a pardon from the Yang di-Pertuan Agong.
His lawyer Joy Wilson Appukuttan said Arun submitted his application to Istana Negara on Tuesday.
“The application was made under Article 42 of the Federal Constitution where the king has the power to grant pardons, reprieves and respites for all offences committed in his state,” Wilson told FMT.
He said according to the constitution, the king acts on the advice of the Pardons Board, comprising the federal territories minister, the attorney-general and three others.
Wilson said this is the first time a counsel is applying for a pardon for contempt of court as in the past, many lawyers had been found guilty but only fined.
On April 23, a five-member Federal Court bench chaired by Ramly Ali also fined Arun RM40,000 in lieu of another 30 days in jail.
Wilson said Arun, who is scheduled to be freed on May 21, is also making arrangements to pay the fine.
Arun wrote two articles with the headlines “How a dissenting judgment sparked a major judicial crisis” on Feb 16 and “Tommy Thomas must look into arbitration centre that sparked judicial crisis” on Feb 22 which were critical of a Federal Court judgment last November.
The articles were also in relation to the now-famous affidavit by Court of Appeal judge Abdul Hamid Abu Backer detailing alleged judicial misconduct.
Ramly said on an objective assessment, Arun’s statements had scandalised the court and undermined the judiciary.
On March 28, Attorney-General Tommy Thomas submitted that Arun was clearly referring to three Federal Court judges when he wrote the two articles.
He said by lodging a report with the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, Arun was insinuating that the judges were corrupt.
On Feb 28, Thomas obtained leave from the Federal Court to initiate contempt proceedings against Arun on grounds that the articles had scandalised the judges of the Federal Court and undermined public confidence in the judiciary.
Arun maintains that the articles are of public interest and that he only wanted to highlight much-needed reforms at the Kuala Lumpur International Arbitration Centre.