Hamid fails to stop Judges’ Ethics Committee from conducting inquiry

KUALA LUMPUR: Senior Court of Appeal Judge Hamid Sultan Abu Backer will most likely appear before the Judges’ Ethics Committee on Thursday to answer queries pertaining to an explosive affidavit and a judgment.

This follows the High Court’s dismissal of Hamid’s stay application to stop the committee from conducting an inquiry.

His lawyer, Wilson Joy Appukuttan, said Judge Mariana Yahya disallowed the application on grounds that there were no exceptional circumstances to stop the proceeding.

“I have to take instruction from my client as to the next course (of action) as soon as possible,” said Wilson, who appeared with counsel T Gunaseelan in a virtual hearing today.

FMT understands that Hamid could, among other things, file a fresh motion in the Court of Appeal to stop the committee from hearing the matter at 3pm on Thursday.

On Jan 21, Mariana dismissed Hamid’s leave application for judicial review on the affidavit and judgment.

She also allowed the committee’s application to strike out Hamid’s originating summons, which is closely tied to the remedy sought in the judicial review application.

In the judicial review matter, Hamid wants a declaration that the in-camera proceeding is against the rules of natural justice, irrational and unconstitutional.

He also wants a declaration that the committee, chaired by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, has acted unconstitutionally in framing charges against him and that the charges should be declared null and void.

As for the originating summons, Hamid is seeking a direction in relation to the affidavit and judgment he delivered in a criminal appeal case.

Hamid, who is scheduled to retire this year, posed a question on whether the judgment he delivered last June could be subjected to an investigation by the committee.

He also asked whether the affidavit he affirmed in 2019 in support of a suit filed by lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo could be subject to scrutiny by the committee.

Three years ago, Hamid alleged there had been judicial interference in several high-profile cases. Sangeet then filed a suit against the chief justice early in 2019, accusing the top judge of failing to defend and preserve the integrity of the judiciary.

In August, FMT reported that the committee had issued Hamid a show cause notice over the affidavit and judgment.

Hamid, among other things, had said in the judgment that the judiciary was expected to act as a check and balance on the executive and legislature, as provided for under the Federal Constitution.

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