Hornbill Unleashed

July 10, 2017

CJ, Court of Appeal president advised to reject appointments

Filed under: Politics — Hornbill Unleashed @ 8:02 AM

DAP’s Bukit Gelugor MP Ramkarpal Singh has advised Chief Justice Md Raus Sharif and Court of Appeal President Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin to reject their appointments as additional judges to the Federal Court.

Ramkarpal, who is a lawyer, said the appointments were tantamount to an extension for the duo which is not provided for under the federal constitution.

“Apart from being unprecedented, the said extensions are certainly unnecessary and a step in the wrong direction in the development of the judiciary.

“In the circumstances, I strongly urge Md Raus and Zulkefli to decline the said extensions as there is a very strong likelihood that same will be challenged in court which will, undoubtedly, be very embarrassing to the judiciary as never have the top two posts of the same ever been challenged.

“Any doubt as to the validity of the top two posts of the judiciary will severely damage its image and erode the public confidence of same which must be avoided at all costs,” he said in a statement today.

Both Md Raus and Zulkefli face mandatory retirement later this year, at age 66 and six months.

However, Article 122(1A) of the Federal Constitution allows for the appointment of an additional judge to the Federal Court which is not constrained by the age limit.

The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) yesterday announced that Md Raus’ appointment as an additional judge will commence on Aug 4 for three years while Zulkefli’s appointment will take effect on Sept 28 for two years.

The PMO said they will remain as chief justice and Court of Appeal president respectively.

It added that their appointments were based on the recommendation of the then chief justice Zakaria Arifin who retired on March 31.

Ramkarpal argued that Arifin was in no position to recommend the duo, who were already sitting Federal Court judges at that time, as additional judges to the Federal Court.

“In the circumstances, I am of the respectful view that the said extensions of Md Raus and Zulkefli are legally untenable and cannot be said to be free from controversy and challenge,” he said.

Meanwhile, Parti Amanah Negara’s Sepang MP Hanipa Maidin, who is also a lawyer, said the government’s justification that the recommendation was by Arifin is “seriously flawed”.

“The government only decided to extend Md Raus as an additional judge cum chief justice under Article 122(1A) yesterday, long after Arifin duly retired,” he added.

The Malaysian Bar in a statement had described the appointments as “blatantly unconstitutional” and will convene an extraordinary general meeting to discuss the matter.


Source : Malaysiakini by


 

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