AG has no power to review notices issued by police in respect of an investigation - Appeals Court

04 Mar 2022 07:51pm
Photo for representational purpose only - Source: 123rf
Photo for representational purpose only - Source: 123rf

PUTRAJAYA - The Attorney-General (AG) has no power to review notices issued by police to lawyer P. Uthayakumar as the notices were in respect of an investigation, ruled the court of Appeal.

A 22-page judgment delivered by Justice Datuk Seri Kamaludin Md Said said the AG is empowered to have control and direction of criminal prosecutions and proceedings and not on investigation of an offence.

"It is undisputed that the Attorney-General is empowered under Article 145 of the Federal Constitution to institute, conduct or discontinue any proceedings for an offence other than proceedings before a Syariah court, a native court or a court martial," he said.

He said the word "proceedings” means "judicial proceedings” and did not include investigation.

Justice Kamaludin said the AG would not interfere in any investigation undertaken by the police for the obvious reason that the AG and the police are under two separate organisations with separate powers and responsibility under the law.

He said the criminal justice system requires separation of duties between those who investigate and those who prosecute.

He said this in the court's decision in dismissing Uthayakumar's appeal to set aside two notices under Section 111 of the Criminal Procedure Code issued against him by the police two years ago for him to assist them in their investigation.

Uthayakumar wanted the AG to set aside the notices.

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Justice Kamaludin said the notices issued to Uthayakumar requiring him to come to the office of the Bukit Aman criminal investigation unit were made in accordance with the governing law and were valid.

He said the notices under Section 111 are just an official mode of asking a person to assist the police to investigate a crime or a would-be offence, adding that the first notice dated June 15, 2020 which was sent to Uthayakumar through email and WhatsApp was an advance notice.

Justice Kamaludin said the second notice dated Aug 17, 2020 was an official notice which was served personally on Uthayakumar.

On Nov 17 last year, the court of Appeal three-member bench which comprised Justices Kamaludin, Datuk Gunalan Muniandy and Datuk Hashim Hamzah dismissed Uthayakumar's appeal against a High court's decision to reject his application to set aside the notices dated June 15, 2020 and Aug 17, 2020.

In his application, which named Inspector Mohamad Fairol Abu Bakar and the Head of the Criminal Investigation Unit and the police as respondent, Uthayakumar claimed that the notices were null and void and must be set aside.

Uthayakumar claimed that the issuance of the notices against him was to dissuade and prevent him from carrying out his duties as lawyer.

He also sought a stay of any warrant of arrest to be issued against him for failing to comply with the notices.

Lawyer M. Manoharan, when contacted, said his client (Uthayakumar) is appealing against the court of Appeal decision to the Federal court, adding that the notice of appeal was filed on Nov 22, last year. - BERNAMA