Rosmah fails to disqualify Sri Ram’s appointment again

(Bernama) – The High Court here today dismissed Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor’s(pix) fresh bid to disqualify Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram as senior deputy public prosecutor in her RM1.25 billion hybrid solar project corruption trial.

Judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid ruled that the application for leave for judicial review made under Order 53 rule 3(6) of the Rules of Court 2012 challenging Sri Ram’s fiat must be filed within three months from the date when the grounds of application first rose or when the decision was first communicated to the applicant (Rosmah).

“In the present application, the charge was preferred against the applicant on Nov 15, 2018, whereby Sri Ram appeared as the senior DPP in the case. On April 8, 2021, a copy of first fiat was communicated.

“This application for judicial review was only filed on June 24, 2022. This is clearly beyond the three months’ time frame as stipulated under Order 53 rule 3(6) of the Rules of Court 2012. There had been a delay on the part of applicant in filing the application for judicial review,” said the judge when delivering his judgment via email.

The judge added that there was no material or cogent reason or single good reason provided by the applicant for the court to exercise its discretion to grant extension of time in filing this application for leave under Order 53 rule 3 (7) of the Rules of Court 2012.

“Therefore, the preliminary objections raised by the Attorney-General Chambers and Sri Ram as respondents should be allowed. It was not necessary to deal with the merits of the application.

“Hence, this court has no jurisdiction to grant leave to hear the substantive judicial review application. The applicant’s application for leave to commerce judicial review proceedings is hereby dismissed,” said the judge.

Rosmah, 70, filed the judicial review application on June 24 in the High Court (Appeal and Special Powers) naming the Attorney General/Public Prosecutor, government of Malaysia and Sri Ram as respondents.

In her latest application, Rosmah sought a declaration that the appointment of Sri Ram as senior DPP through three letters of appointment (fiat), dated July 8, 2020, May 11 and May 21, 2021, respectively, was unlawful.

In addition, Rosmah sought a declaration that the entire prosecution proceedings and full trial for the solar case which took place since Nov 15, 2018 until the defence closed the case were invalid and void and she must be acquitted of all charges under Section 16 (a) (A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.

Rosmah is accused of soliciting RM187.5 million and two counts of accepting bribes amounting to RM6.5 million from Jepak Holdings Sdn Bhd managing director Saidi Abang Samsudin through her former aide Datuk Rizal Mansor as a reward for helping Jepak Holdings secure the RM1.25 billion project to provide hybrid solar energy in 369 schools in rural Sarawak.

The trial at the High Court has been completed and Judge Mohamed Zaini Mazlan has set Sept 1 to deliver the court’s ruling on whether to acquit or convict Rosmah on the three corruption charges.