Laws cannot have seditious tendencies, court told
UPDATED @ 07:30:20 PM 14-07-2011
PUTRAJAYA, July 14 — Rising lawyer Jagdeep Singh Deo told the Court of Appeal today that citing the law cannot be grounds for charging a person with sedition.
He was defending his father and DAP chairman, Karpal Singh, who was acquitted of sedition over remarks made during the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis.
Karpal (picture) had been indicted under Section 4(1) of the Sedition Act 1948, for allegedly uttering seditious words against the Sultan of Perak at his legal firm in Jalan Pudu Lama, Kuala Lumpur, on February 6 two years ago.
He was alleged to have said that the removal of Datuk Seri Mohamad Nizar Jamaluddin as Perak Mentri Besar and appointment of Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir by the Sultan could be questioned in a court of law.
Jagdeep noted that Article 160 of the Federal Constitution stated that any public authority can be taken to court, and explained that the country’s highest law defines it to also include the Yang di-Pertuan Agong and other state rulers.
“Something that is lawful cannot have a seditious tendency,” he told a three-man panel of judges led by Datuk Ahmad Maarop and flanked by Datuk Clement Allan Skinner and Datuk Apandi Ali.The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) had appealed the High Court’s decision last year.
Representing the AGC today was deputy public prosecutor Noorin Badaruddin who argued that the trial judge, Azman Abdullah, had taken a wrong approach when the latter ruled the prosecution had failed to prove prima facie.
The Court of Appeal will continue hearing the case at 9am tomorrow.