Government mulls standard sentencing after complaints about rape cases
Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz told Parliament today the government was agreeable to this suggestion when answering a question from Lembah Pantai MP Nurul Izzah Anwar.
The PKR MP wanted to know if a panel would be set up oversee the judiciary following the courts' decision to free former national bowler Noor Afizal Azizan on a good behaviour bond, after he was convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl.
"The government believes that a sentencing council can be put in place but not a committee to review court decisions," Nazri (picture), who is de facto law minister, said.
"It is dangerous if we have a review system as this will create another tier in the legal system. This is because there is a committee higher than the courts to review their decision," he added.
Nazri said the sentencing council would only look at streamlining court sentences and not revisit cases to review judgments.
He added he had met Chief Justice Tan Sri Ariffin Zakaria to discuss the matter and he had indicated that the sentencing council could be established with the agreement of the government.
"A few NGOs and the ministry of women, family and community development have met and delivered an objection memorandum in the bowler's case, and I have delivered it to chief justice Tun Ariffin Zakaria," Nazri said.
"In our meeting, we were discussing this decision was surely made by the courts, we don't want to interfere in their affairs.
"In the bowler's case, we cannot right the courts' decision in our legal system."
Noor Afizal was last month released on a RM25,000 good behaviour bond, prompting public outcry and criticisms from Barisan Nasional (BN) and Pakatan Rakyat (PR) lawmakers.
The judicial system was further questioned when the courts decided to free in the same month 22-year old technician Chuah Guan Jiu on good behaviour despite raping a 12-year old girl.