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AGC withdraws bid for leave to appeal in ex-AIAC director's case

PUTRAJAYA: The Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) has withdrawn its application in the Federal Court to seek leave to appeal against the appellate court's decision in granting former director of Asian International Arbitration Centre (AIAC) leave to commence a judicial review to challenge his entitlement for immunity from any charges.

Senior federal counsel, S. Narkunavathy appearing for the AGC informed the court of the withdrawal of the leave application.

Lawyer K. Shanmuga representing Datuk Prof Dr N. Sundra Rajoo, requested the court to award costs saying that they were indicated of the withdrawal during the last case management proceedings and by then they had already filed submissions and court authorities.

However, Narkunavathy sought no costs as she said there were no costs awarded by the High Court and Court of Appeal.

Chief Justice, Tan Sri Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat who chaired a three-member Federal Court bench struck out the AGC's application for leave, with costs of RM20,000.

The other two judges presiding on the bench were Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Rohana Yusuf and Court of Appeal Judge Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal.

On May 23, last year, the Court of Appeal granted leave to Sundra Rajoo to commence the judicial review proceeding after allowing his appeal against the High Court's decision on March 26, last year to dismiss his application for leave for judicial review.

Sundra Rajoo, who was the head of AIAC from 2010 until late 2018, filed a leave for judicial review, among others, seeking a declaration that he has an immunity as a former high-ranking officer of AIAC for acts done within his official capacity.

Following the appellate court's decision, the case was remitted to the High Court to hear Sundra Rajoo's judicial review.

On Dec 31, last year, the High Court allowed Sundra Rajoo's judicial review, ruling that he was entitled for immunity from any civil and criminal proceedings while holding the post.

High Court Judge, Datuk Seri Mariana Yahya held the criminal action taken against Sundra Rajoo by the public prosecutor contravened the International Organisation (Privileges and Immunities) Act 1992 (Act 485) and was therefore void and unlawful and should be quashed.

On Jan 22, this year, Sessions Court judge Azura Alwi quashed three criminal breach of trust charges involving AIAC funds amounting to more than RM1 million against Sundra Rajoo after ruling that she was bound by the High Court decision that he (Sundra Rajoo) was entitled to immunity from prosecution for acts done in his official capacity.

The prosecution's appeal against the High Court's decision to allow Sundra Rajoo's judicial review, is fixed for hearing in the Court of Appeal on June 25. - BERNAMA