Arun seeks to dismiss nod for contempt proceedings against him

Lawyer S. Chandran, of S. Chandran & Partners, said the motion has been fixed for hearing before the court on Wednesday (March 13). — Reuters pic
Lawyer S. Chandran, of S. Chandran & Partners, said the motion has been fixed for hearing before the court on Wednesday (March 13). — Reuters pic

KUALA LUMPUR, March 9 — Lawyers representing Arun Kasi have applied to set aside the leave granted by the Federal Court for Attorney General (AG) Tommy Thomas to institute committal proceedings against their client.

S. Chandran, of S. Chandran & Partners, said the motion has been fixed for hearing before the Court on Wednesday (March 13)

“A number of pertinent constitutional questions have been raised in the motion. They include questions as to freedom of speech in Article 10(1)(a) and limitations to it in Article 10(2)(a),” he said in a statement yesterday.

Chandran is referring to the constitutional provisions guaranteeing every citizen the right to freedom of speech and expression, and any restrictions Parliament may impose on those rights in the interest of national security or public order.

“There are also questions regarding the scope of contempt in Article 126, the AG's limits of powers in Article 145, and impacts of doctrine of separation of powers entrenched in our Federal Constitution,” he said, referring to the provision enabling the courts to punish any contempt of itself, and the provision related to the AG's function.

“This will be a landmark case of high constitutional importance in this area of  law, that is attracting attention not only among lawyers and communities locally but also internationally,” Chandran said.

Arun, himself a lawyer, recently caused controversy with two articles published in the Aliran online portal, where he referred to allegations of judicial misconduct, and the removal of certain parts of the dissenting judgement from Court of Appeal judge Abdul Hamid Abu Backer.

On February 27, Thomas won approval from a three-member panel at the Federal Court to initiate contempt proceedings against Arun, who reportedly criticised a proceeding and decision of an apex court bench delivered last year.