KUALA LUMPUR, April 2 — The Sessions Court today sentenced three individuals, including two lawyers, to seven days in jail for contempt for filing false evidence involving a man’s witness statement, in a civil suit case four years ago.

Judge Halilah Suboh ordered the two lawyers, Mark Robin Tallala and G. Mahadeva, and their client, Jagmohan Singh Sandhu, to serve the sentence, effective today.

However, the court allowed the application of lawyer, Datuk Harpal Singh Grewal, who represented the three respondents, for a stay of execution of the prison sentence, while waiting for an appeal to be filed in the High Court.

Before sentencing, Halilah said that the court found that the respondents had the intention of committing contempt of court, by preparing and filing false evidence in the form of a witness statement of Allen David Martinez.

Advertisement

“As court officers, we all have a responsibility not to mislead the court by submitting dishonest evidence or statements. Each of us has a heavy responsibility and burden in carrying out our respective duties and roles, based on the principles of law and justice.

“As lawyers, justice is owed, not only to their respective clients, but also to the public and the court. This also becomes the duty of respondents, as defence counsel and lawyers.

“In this case, the witness statement was intentionally and dishonestly filed. The respondents knew that the witness statement was not the actual Martinez statement. Therefore, they (respondents) deliberately misled this court,” she said.

Advertisement

According to Halilah, if the matter had not been noticed and disclosed before the trial, the impugned statement would have been used during the trial, and interfered with the fairness of the case.

“Therefore, the court is of the opinion that imprisonment is appropriate, suitable and reasonable, to be imposed on the three respondents. A fine would not be appropriate, because it would not reflect the seriousness of the offence,” she said.

The proceedings were also attended by lawyer, Bhavanash Sharma Gurchan Singh, as the applicant.

On October 13 last year, the Court of Appeal allowed Bhavanash Sharma’s appeal, and found the three individuals guilty of contempt of court by preparing and filing false evidence regarding Martinez’s witness statement, filed on February 28, 2020, in the Sessions Court.

According to the facts of the case, the impugned witness statement of Martinez was filed by Mark Robin and Mahadeva, through their firm, on February 28, 2020, without any communication, confirmation, nor meeting with Martinez.

On March 3, 2020, Martinez filed an affidavit denying each and every answer in the impugned witness statement. Most importantly, he averred that he neither communicated with, nor met with, the contemnors, prior to the filing of the impugned witness statement.

Mark Robin and Mahadeva later admitted to having never met nor sought Martinez’s confirmation before the filing of the impugned witness statement.

They blamed Jagmohan, and said that they relied solely on their client’s instructions, and the supposition that the latter had finalised the contents of the impugned witness statement with Martinez. — Bernama