Don’t you ever be under the misconception that only justice is served in our courts. There is comedy, pathos, drama and what have you, if you are lucky to have Magistrates like Ahmad Hidayat Md Nor deciding on a case. He delivers two judgements and then you pick your choice. Where is this Ahmad now, still around to entertain the public?
©New Straits Times (Used by permission)
GEORGE TOWN: The High Court yesterday upheld the acquittal of a trader charged with possessing 20.54g of methamphe-tamine — a case which saw two contradicting judgments written by a magistrate.
High Court judge Datuk Abdul Rahim Uda, in delivering his decision yesterday, said if the court were to consider any other judgment apart from the first judgment, it would be making a mockery of the judicial system.
“If we allow the judge to have a second judgment on the same subject matter, it will be against the principles of justice.
“Can we allow this to happen? They cannot be changing their minds at their whims and fancies. There will be no finality to any legal proceeding, which then becomes a mockery of the justice system.”
Abdul Rahim said the integrity of the judge would then come into question.
Trader Kee Chee Wei, who was charged with possessing the drug at Sri Wonder building in Lorong Perak at 3.45pm on Sept 29, 2002, was acquitted by magistrate Ahmad Hidayat Md Nor on April 17 and there was a written judgment to that effect.
Kee’s counsel, Ranjit Singh Dhillon, told Abdul Rahim that his office received a second written judgment on June 13 (also dated April 17) stating that Kee was sentenced to two years’ jail and three strokes of the rotan.
Ranjit said in all his 22 years of practice, he had never come across a situation which involved two contradicting judgments on the same case.
He said the first judgment which acquitted Kee was “signed, sealed and delivered in open court”.
He said anything at variance with the first judgment was deemed an afterthought, and by law should be eliminated.
Deputy public prosecutor Muna Mohamed Jaafar, in her argument, said the magistrate had delivered the judgment after a full trial.