23 April 2019
Sentence pending mitigation: 30 days of jail, RM40,000 fine
Lawyer Arun Kasi has been handed a 30-day jail sentence after he was found to be in contempt of court over his statements pertaining to a court judgment.
The Federal Court also handed the lawyer an RM40,000 fine.
Arun was accused of making contemptuous statements online, in relation to the Federal Court’s decision to expunge a dissenting judgment by Court of Appeal judge Hamid Sultan Abu Backer in the case of Leap Modulation Sdn Bhd vs PCP Construction Sdn Bhd.
Arun had previously asserted that his comments constituted fair criticism.
PUTRAJAYA: Lawyer Arunachalam Kasi, better known as Arun Kasi, who wrote two articles critical of a court judgment in February, has been found guilty of scandalising the court.
Ramly Ali, who chaired a five-member Federal Court bench, said Attorney-General Tommy Thomas had proved his case beyond reasonable doubt against Arun.
“In our view, on an objective assessment, his statements scandalised the court and undermined the judiciary,” said Ramly who delivered the judgment today.
The bench has reserved sentencing pending mitigaton by Arun’s counsel.
Lawyer vows to challenge contempt case by AG
Lawyer Arun Kasi….has vowed to challenge contempt proceedings brought about by Attorney-General Tommy Thomas against him.
This came after the Federal Court on Wednesday granted leave to Thomas’ application to initiate the proceedings over statements Arun made online pertaining to a court’s decision over a particular case judgment.
Defending his action, Arun, in a statement today, maintained that his remarks constituted fair criticism.
“I have always stood for, and will stand for, truth and justice without fear or favour. It is my view that every lawyer should stand to uphold the cause of justice.
“There is a difference between contempt and fair criticism. Contempt will lower the bar, while fair criticism will raise the bar.
“I will take the position that my two articles did not border on any contempt, but were merely fair criticism of the process by which the decision in question was made,” his statement read.
Arun said he expected the Bar Council to make a stand on the matter.
The attorney-general initiated the contempt proceedings after Arun remarked online on the court’s decision to expunge a dissenting judgment by Court of Appeal judge Hamid Sultan Abu Backer in the case of Leap Modulation Sdn Bhd vs PCP Construction Sdn Bhd.
Senior federal counsel Amarjeet Singh said in the application that Arun’s remarks had scandalised judges and the court.
The former cited two articles written by Arun, published on an NGO’s website, criticising the Federal Court for expunging Hamid’s judgment.