Rosmah fails in her bid to challenge late Sri Ram's appointment

22 Jun 2023 02:05pm
 Rosmah Mansor
Rosmah Mansor
PUTRAJAYA - Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor today failed in her bid to challenge former Federal Court judge the late Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram's appointment as lead prosecutor in her RM1.25 billion solar hybrid project graft case.

A three-member panel comprising the Court of Appeal judges Datuk Hanipah Farikullah, Datuk Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali and Datuk See Mee Chun unanimously dismissed the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's appeal to obtain leave for judicial review application on the ground there was no merit in the appeal.

Justice See who delivered the court's decision in an online proceeding, denied Rosmah's appeal with costs of RM10,000.

On Aug 30, 2022, the High Court in Kuala Lumpur refused to give leave to the wife of former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak to commence a judicial review to challenge Sri Ram's appointment as lead prosecutor in her case.

Rosmah, 71, filed the application for leave to initiate a judicial review in the High Court on June 24, 2022, naming the Attorney-General/Public Prosecutor, the Government of Malaysia and Sri Ram as respondents.

Justice See, who read out the decision said, the panel agreed that Rosmah's application for leave to initiate the judicial review at the High Court was out of time, as the application should have been filed within three months from the fiat (authorisation letter) was first sighted.

The judge said the application should have been filed within that time frame where the appellant would have been aware that the fiat was, in her own words, invalid, thus rendering the appointment of Sri Ram illegal, irregular and defective, and the proceedings of the solar hybrid case a nullity, void and a mistrial.

"The judicial review, being mandated within three months from the date (of first sighting) and we find the appellant to be out of time," she said.

The judge also said there were no good grounds for the court to exercise its discretion to grant an extension of time to file the judicial review.
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Order 53 rule 3(6) of the Rules of Court 2012 provides that an application for judicial review shall be made promptly and in any event within three months from the date when the grounds for the application first arose or when the decision was first communicated to the person.

In the judicial review application, Rosmah sought a declaration that Sri Ram's appointment as senior deputy public prosecutor through three letters of appointment (fiat) dated July 8, 2020, May 11 and May 21, 2021, respectively was unlawful.

She also sought a declaration that the entire prosecution proceedings and full trial for her solar case which took place from Nov 15, 2018, until the defence closed the case were invalid and void and that she must be acquitted of all charges under Section 16 (a) (A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Act 2009.

Prior to the judicial review, Rosmah had applied to disqualify Sri Ram but it was dismissed by Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan who presided over her solar hybrid corruption trial. Her appeals to the Court of Appeal and Federal Court were also dismissed.

On Sept 1, 2022, Justice Mohamed Zaini found Rosmah guilty of the corruption charges and sentenced her to 10 years in jail and fined RM970 million. She then filed an appeal against her conviction and sentence and the Court of Appeal set four days, from July 11 to 14 to hear her appeal.

Meanwhile, Rosmah's counsel Datuk Akberdin Abdul Kader told reporters that they will file an appeal against today's decision to the Federal Court.

Rosmah is also represented by counsel Datuk Jagjit Singh while Senior Federal Counsel Shamsul Bolhassan and Liew Horng Bin acted for the respondents. - BERNAMA