Judge reveals plot in judiciary to defraud government

Hamid Sultan Abu Backer claims that certain top judges from the Federal Court have been aiding private parties in defrauding the government. – The Malaysian Insight file pic, February 14, 2019.

TOP judges have been accused of aiding private parties to defraud the government by assessing damages favourable to them.

This shocking allegation was made by Court of Appeal judge Hamid Sultan Abu Backer in an affidavit filed today.

The affidavit sighted by The Malaysian Insight was in support of lawyer Sangeet Kaur Deo’s application to declare that the chief justice failed to defend the integrity and credibility of the judiciary over two alleged incidences of judicial interference.

Hamid claimed certain top judges from the apex court – the Federal Court – have been aiding private parties in defrauding the government.

“Many of my judgments on commercial matters that supported the government were scorned by top judges.

“The reason was that the private parties who were direct nominees of politicians created contracts with the government.

“The apex court was perceived to be sympathetic to them,” he said.

He said, for example, the government would enter into a contract with a political nominee with no intention of honouring it.

“Subsequently, the government would terminate the contract and the nominee would sue the government for breach of contract.

“The government may record a consent judgment accepting liability and agreeing to assess damage.

“This modus operandi was going on directly to deprive the exchequer by false claims.

“This modus operandi is not only illegal but also unconstitutional,” he said.

Hamid, who is still a sitting judge, in his affidavit repeatedly stressed on the need for a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) to look into the matter.

He added that he had developed jurisprudence relating to fraud on the exchequer or entering into unfair terms of an agreement with the government in an attempt to curb such cases.

This would render a contract unenforceable based on public policy grounds.

“When a contract relates to the government and a private party, no advantage of any nature can be taken by the private party, even though the government agencies in breach of rule of law may have consented.

“In short, ordinary contractual principles in all corners will not apply. The court, to protect public interest, is not obliged to recognise such contacts even though it is in writing,” he added.

However, he said certain top judges, whom he labelled judicial rowdies, responded with contempt towards the move.

“Many of my judgments on commercial matters that supported the government were scorned upon by top judges,” he said.

Hamid said that a particular top judge, whom he referred to as “ARLC”, had attempted to embarrass him after becoming upset with his jurisprudence, which prevented him from helping the nominees.

“It would have been perfectly alright if the matter had gone on appeal before his coram and if he had written a judgment disagreeing with my jurisprudence.

“However, it was misconduct on the part to belittle me,” he said.

Hamid said “ARLC” was the same person who had reprimanded him for his dissenting judgement in the unilateral conversion case of M. Indira Gandhi’s children.

Sangeet, daughter of the late DAP stalwart Karpal Singh, had filed an originating summons against the chief justice’s office last month, alleging that he failed to act on alleged judicial interference in two instances – her father’s sedition appeal and Indira’s case.

Chief Justice Richard Malanjum is not named in Sangeet’s suit, which refers to the then presiding chief justice.

Sangeet’s summons centres on allegations raised by lawyer Haniff Khatri, who had said in a Facebook post on August 22 last year that the outcome of Karpal’s sedition appeal two years ago was altered due to judicial interference by a senior judge.

Karpal had been charged with sedition for saying the removal of Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as menteri besar by the late Perak sultan and the appointment of Zambry Abdul Kadir in his place could be questioned in court.

On February 21, 2014, the High Court found Karpal guilty. On May 30, 2016, his conviction was upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Karpal died in a road accident in April 17, 2014.

In the case of Indira’s children, Sangeet filed the originating summons in relation to allegations that last August 16, Hamid had been reprimanded by a top judge for delivering a dissenting judgment in a unilateral Muslim conversion case in 2016.

Hamid, who spoke at the 2018 International Malaysia Law Conference, had said he was then barred from hearing cases related to the federal constitution and those of public interest.

Relating to that incident, Hamid said in his affidavit that things got worse for him after his dissenting judgment in the Indira case.

“Hell turned loose when I delivered my dissenting judgment in Indra Gandhi appeal. My coram was called up by ARLC.

“ARLC reprimanded me with words that impinged judicial independence and that is where he disclosed the unhappiness of top judges and Federal Court judges in respect of my important constitutional judgments.

“He also threw tantrums about me in an uncivilised manner in front of other panel members. His unconstitutional conduct has caused me great mental stress and is still continuing,” he said. – February 14, 2019.

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