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皇冠正网(www.hg108.vip):Questions of law over MACC probe into judge Nazlan to be referred to apex bench, rules High Court

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The questions of law filed by two lawyers and an activist regarding the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission's investigation into judge Mohd Nazlan Ghazali have been ruled by the Kuala Lumpur High Court as eligible to be referred to the Federal Court. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, July 19, 2022.

THE Kuala Lumpur High Court today granted an application by two lawyers and an activist to refer two questions of law, regarding the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission’s (MACC) investigation into Court of Appeal judge Mohd Nazlan Ghazali, to the Federal Court. 

The two questions are on whether criminal investigation bodies including the MACC are only legally permitted to investigate High Court, Court of Appeal and Federal Court judges who have been suspended under Article 125(5) of the Federal Constitution, and whether the public prosecutor is empowered to institute or conduct any proceedings for an offence against serving judges pursuant to Article 145(3) of the Federal Constitution.

Judge Noorin Badaruddin ruled that the Federal Court is the correct and appropriate forum to hear matters that affect the judiciary as a whole, as the question arising in this matter relates to provisions of the Federal Constitution concerning the independence of the judiciary vis-a-vis the doctrine of separation of powers.

“It is apparent that the investigation by the MACC on a serving judge of the superior court is viewed by the applicants and undeniably by many quarters of the public as an encroachment of the separation of powers. The investigation is reasonably viewed as having given rise to the impression that the judiciary is under attack, which has a bearing on public perception and confidence in the judiciary.

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“As the present matter is going on, this court takes cognisance of the fact as to the difference of opinions and views given on this issue, and this court cannot disagree that this is a matter of fundamental importance because it affects the judiciary as a whole. All these underscore the urgency of the matter.

“It cannot be denied that this court is empowered to determine the questions, but it becomes a question of concern of having to go through the appellate process on a matter that is important to the judiciary as a whole,” she said.

The judge said a definitive and final pronouncement by the Federal Court as the highest court in the land on questions arising herein that have a direct bearing on public confidence on the independence of the judiciary is therefore essential.

“The court is of the considered view that a definitive and final pronouncement by the Federal Court on the questions posed by the applicants will benefit both parties with a speedy and economic final determination of the proceedings. Thus, the application is allowed with no order as to costs,” she said before fixing October 19 for further case management.

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