malaysia

Constitutional questions on CJ’s appointment to be referred to Federal Court

Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif (pic) was appointed Chief Justice for three years effective August 4 to replace Tun Arifin Zakaria who retired. ― Malay Mail picTan Sri Md Raus Sharif (pic) was appointed Chief Justice for three years effective August 4 to replace Tun Arifin Zakaria who retired. ― Malay Mail picKUALA LUMPUR, Dec 19 — The High Court today ordered five constitutional questions regarding the appointment of Chief Justice (CJ) Tun Md Raus Sharif and Court of Appeal president Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin to be referred to the country’s highest court, the Federal Court.

The order was made by High Court judge Justice Datin Azizah Nawawi following the Malaysian Bar’s originating summons over Raus and Zulkefli’s appointments.

Four of the constitutional questions were from the Malaysian Bar, while the other question was put forth by senior federal counsel Datuk Amarjeet Singh on behalf of the government.

“Two of our questions were argued, two were accepted. But for the argued questions, the judge decided it should be referred to the Federal Court as she did not want to speculate on the matter,” Malaysian Bar president George Varughese said after the hearing in the chambers today.

The case management for the hearing at Federal Court regarding the constitutional questions is set for January 2 next year.

The constitutional questions mostly centre around the validity of Raus and Zulkefli’s appointment as additional judges before both of them were appointed as CJ and Court of Appeal president respectively, despite them having passed the mandatory retirement age.

Both of them were made additional judges in July this year before their tenure as CJ and Court of Appeal president were renewed in August and September respectively.

The Malaysian Bar is just one of several parties that had criticised and are also legally challenging the appointments.

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