PETALING JAYA: The Federal Court has reinstated military anaesthesiologist Dr Faiz Azraai Abdul Aziz who was dishonourably discharged from service and imprisoned for three months in 2018.
According to Faiz’s lawyer Nasser Yusof, the apex court found that the court-martial had erred in its 2018 judgment when interpreting the Armed Forces Act 1972 on desertion and absence without leave.
“The bench, led by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, opined that the Federal Court had a duty to intervene, and allowed Faiz’s appeal with RM50,000 in costs to be paid by the government,” Nasser told FMT.
Faiz had been absent from service between Oct 19, 2016 and May 4, 2017 due to depression and concerns that the medication he was taking would affect his ability to treat patients.
He was arrested on May 4, 2017 at his home in TTDI and detained for four days on the grounds that he had been absent from service without leave.
When he was brought to court four days later, magistrate Mahyudin Mohamad Som ordered his release, finding that his detention was unlawful and contravened the legislation.
Faiz then sought compensation from the government via a suit brought in the High Court for the wrongful detention. A consent judgment was entered for the sum of RM50,000 and RM10,000 in costs.
In August 2017, Faiz was brought before a court-martial and charged for desertion from the military. He was found guilty, sentenced to three months imprisonment and dismissed from service.
He then sought a judicial review against the court-martial’s decision, but his application was dismissed by the High Court in July 2019.
The Court of Appeal unanimously affirmed the High Court’s decision in July 2021.
Faiz was also represented by lawyers Cecil Abraham, Rejinder Singh, Rishwant Singh, and V Mugunthan.