Lawyer charged with obstructing cops freed

(From left) K Arivom Namasivaya with his lawyer, M Manoharan, supporter P Uthayakumar and S Puspanathan, who held a watching brief for the Bar Council, at the Port Dickson Magistrate’s Court.

PETALING JAYA: A lawyer slapped with charges of obstructing the police from carrying out their duties two months ago in Port Dickson has been granted a discharge not amounting to an acquittal (DNAA).

K Arivom Namasivaya’s lawyer, M Manoharan, said Port Dickson Magistrate Siti Khairiah Abdul Razak today discharged his client and ordered Arivom’s RM500 bail to be returned to him.

Arivom was charged under Section 186 of the Penal Code at the Port Dickson Magistrate’s Court on July 26 with obstructing a public servant in the discharge of his functions, following an incident at the Port Dickson district police headquarters.

Arivom, who is also a lawyer himself, said he and his client, an alleged victim of domestic violence, were arrested during a commotion that developed after police tried to arrest her.

He had always claimed there was no call for any arrest because the investigating officer in the case, who had asked him and the client to show up for questioning, had not yet arrived for the interview.

Manoharan told FMT today that the court ordered a discharge after hearing his objections against the charge brought against Arivom.

“I submitted that the charge is clearly groundless and goes against Section 42 of the Legal Profession Act 1976,” he said.

Section 42 of the Act states, among others, that the purpose of the Malaysian Bar is to ensure lawyers are called upon to uphold the cause of justice, uninfluenced by fear or favour.

“Furthermore, the charge was not clear and precise,” Manoharan said.

“The manner of obstruction was not stated and the public officer whom Arivom was alleged to have obstructed was not named in the charge.”

He also claimed that a copy of the charge sheet was not given to Arivom until today’s proceedings in court.

Arivom’s client is involved in a domestic violence case. She had allegedly been assaulted by her ex-husband for the last eight years.

She has since left the house with her son. She had lodged 16 police reports against her ex-husband.

Arivom claimed that a police report lodged by the ex-husband, where he accused her of stealing his belongings — despite the fact that she was in a different state at the time — was the reason why she was asked to have her statement recorded and why he had accompanied her.

He also claimed she was initially scared to go to the police station because her ex-husband was “close” to a high-ranking police officer there.

While there, Arivom claimed some officers exclaimed, “his wife is here” and “arrest her”.