I REFER to Malaysiakini‘s news report titled Court of Appeal hears Zambry’s appeal, which states that a one-member panel involving Justice Ramly Mohd Ali has been set up to hear Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abdul Kadir’s stay application (against yesterday’s High Court decision declaring Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin the rightful Perak menteri besar).
Ramly began hearing the application at 11.45am at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya, a few hours after the appeal was filed.
I only wish that the courts acted like this in all cases — superfast and efficient. I am intrigued about how in some cases, it takes months or even years. But in the above case, it only took several hours for a panel to be set up.
Why the double standard?
(Pic by Bernadsky / sxc.hu) The person who steals a loaf of bread has to rot in jail for months before his or her case is even heard. The usual excuse is that there is a backlog of cases.
There are countless cases in the past where the maxim “justice delayed is justice denied” holds true, and each and every one of us either has a friend who has experienced this, or we have experienced it ourselves.
For example, the New Straits Times reported on 29 July 2008 in Rape accused gets third delay of appeal that a 78-year-old man was found guilty of raping a teenager and was sentenced to 12 years’ imprisonment in 1998. The offence was committed in 1992. The teenager was made pregnant by the rape and subsequently bore a child. The accused, however, appealed against his conviction and is currently out on bail.
As reported, this case took six years from the time the offence was committed to the accused being convicted. The accused’s appeal to the High Court took another two years, and his subsequent appeal to the Court of Appeal has still not been heard after eight years. The whole process has already taken 15 years and is still ongoing.
How long does a rape survivor have to wait for justice? And how come the Court of Appeal has time to hear Zambry’s case with superfast speed?
Are the courts and judges selective in hearing cases?
If there is such a tremendous backlog of cases in the lower courts, the Court of Appeal should lend some of its judges to the lower courts to help clear the backlog. Judging by the speed the appelate court judges took to set up the panel to hear Zambry’s case, they have much time on their hands and can help the lower courts to clear the backlog of cases.
12 May 2009