Karpal’s daughter wants court president to clarify if judge’s affidavit is factual

Lawyer Sanjeet Kaur Deo says Hamid Sultan Abu Backer’s affidavit should have been investigated before issuing him a show cause notice.

PETALING JAYA: A lawyer wants an answer from Court of Appeal president Rohana Yusof whether an internal inquiry was held to determine the veracity of an affidavit affirmed by a senior judge.

Sangeet Kaur Deo said the contents of Hamid Sultan Abu Backer’s affidavit should have been investigated before a show cause notice was issued to him by the Judges’ Ethics Committee.

“The judiciary must conduct itself in a transparent manner to remain accountable,” she said in reference to Hamid’s affidavit in support of her suit early last year.

Hamid, a Court of Appeal judge, claimed that senior judges had intervened in the decisions of numerous appeals, including the late Karpal Singh’s sedition case.

Karpal, who is Sangeet’s father, died in a road accident on April 17, 2014.

Sangeet said she wrote to Rohana, who is Hamid’s immediate boss, early this year but there was no reply.

Last month, FMT reported that the committee chaired by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat issued Hamid the show cause notice on the affidavit and a judgment he delivered in a criminal appeal involving two Nigerians.

Hamid, who led a three-member bench, remarked, among others, that the judiciary is expected to act as check and balance on the executive and legislature as provided for under the Federal Constitution.

Sangeet said she wrote another letter to Rohana last month to find out whether an inquiry on the affidavit was held in view of the show cause letter.

“There has been no reply yet from her,” she said.

Two weeks ago, Hamid reportedly sent an “explosive” response to the show cause notice.

Sources told FMT it was believed the senior judge, who is scheduled to retire next year, stood by the entire content of the affidavit and also a 101-page judgment he delivered in early June.

Hamid first revealed the allegation of judicial interference at an international conference in Kuala Lumpur in August two years ago.

Sangeet then filed her suit against the chief justice for failure to defend and preserve the integrity of the judiciary but the action was dismissed last October.

“I also withdrew my appeal in February this year to enable Rohana to conduct an internal inquiry,” she said.

In the affidavit, Hamid claimed a senior judge meddled in the majority decision on Karpal’s appeal.

Judges Mohtarudin Baki and Kamardin Hashim upheld the High Court’s conviction while Tengku Maimun dissented.

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