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Special panel to clear 10,000 backlogged appeal cases

PUTRAJAYA, 22 Aug 2008: A special Court of Appeal panel has been set up to deal with and clear 10,000 backlogged criminal and civil cases.

The panel comprising Justices Datuk Gopal Sri Ram, Datuk Md Raus Sharif and Datuk Sulong Matjeraie sat yesterday and today to clear a total of 191 cases.

This is the first time that the panel convened at the Palace of Justice to clear the cases. The Federal Court and Appellate Court shifted to the Palace of Justice from the Sultan Abdul Samad Building, Kuala Lumpur, in October 2003.  

The panel was formed to deal with pending cases from 1997 until last year following no response from lawyers, in writing or through the court’s website, to provide their list of appeal cases since February this year.

The information required by the Court of Appeal from lawyers was necessary for the court to determine which of the appeals to proceed with and which were being discontinued. Out of the 10,000 cases, 2,000 were dormant files where the status is unknown because the appeal records were not filed.

In some of the cases, new dates were given after the parties indicated to the court that they wanted to pursue the appeal.

The panel disposed of 67 cases today and 124 yesterday.

Sri Ram said Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Zaki Tun Azmi, after consultation with the other judges, decided to appoint a permanent panel to hear and dispose of cases which had been pending for 10 years.

The panel would be fixed unless there was an appeal against the decision of any of the judges sitting on the panel, he said.

The panel would sit again next month with each session to deal with 100 cases, including cases where judgments had been written but were not collected by lawyers. – Bernama

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