Karpal’s daughter abandons appeal against refusal to probe judicial interference

Lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo.

PETALING JAYA: Lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo has dropped her appeal against a ruling dismissing her suit requiring the chief justice (CJ) to conduct a probe into allegations of judicial interference in the sedition case of her late father, Karpal Singh.

“I decided to withdraw my appeal as I have lodged a complaint to Court of Appeal president Rohana Yusof,” she said in a text message.

This is to enable Rohana to conduct an internal inquiry on allegations made by her subordinate, Court of Appeal judge Hamid Sultan Abu Backer.

“The judiciary will have to decide whether it wishes to clean up its house,” she added.

Sangeet’s appeal was scheduled to be heard in the Court of Appeal today, but she filed the notice of discontinuance on Monday.

She also called on the Perikatan Nasional government led by Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin to set up a royal commission of inquiry into the matter.

On Oct 22, High Court judge Mohd Firuz Jaffril threw out her suit, saying it was no longer sustainable as the Federal Court had acquitted Karpal of the charge in May.

“The originating summons is academic as Karpal’s case is no longer a live issue,” Firuz said.

Firuz also allowed the CJ’s application to remove almost all of the contents of an explosive affidavit filed by Hamid in support of Sangeet’s suit.

The judge said the affidavit was scandalous, vexatious and frivolous and that some of the averments in the document were hearsay.

In her action against the CJ, Sangeet said then-top judge Richard Malanjum had failed to defend and preserve the integrity of the judiciary.

Her legal challenge came after lawyer Mohamed Haniff Khatri Abdulla claimed in 2018 that the outcome of Karpal’s sedition appeal in the Court of Appeal had been altered due to judicial interference.

Haniff claimed he was informed that a senior judge, who has since retired, reportedly meddled in the majority decision on Karpal’s appeal.

Judges Mohtarudin Baki and Kamardin Hashim were in the majority to retain the conviction by the High Court while Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, the present CJ, dissented.

However, on May 29, a five-member Federal Court bench allowed an appeal brought by Karpal’s widow, Gurmeet Kaur, thereby also upholding Tengku Maimun’s findings.

Karpal died in a road accident on April 17, 2014.

Hamid, who affirmed his affidavit on Feb 14 last year, alleged that senior judges had intervened in the decisions of numerous appeals, including Karpal’s sedition appeal.