A three-man panel of judges led by Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff unanimously dismissed Sivakumar’s appeal to restore his civil suit against Datuk R. Ganesan — the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) appointee to the state assembly post — for alleged assault, battery and wrongful detention on May 7 last year.
Alauddin and his fellow judges Datuk Hashim Yusoff and Tan Sri Ghazali Mohd Yusoff upheld the Court of Appeal ruling on June 22 this year that Ganesan’s actions to physically remove Sivakumar (picture) from the Speaker’s chair were protected by the Federal Constitution and could not be challenged in court.
“Whatever the defendant did on May 7, 2009 after being elected as the Speaker must be held to be privileged. The cloak of immunity has completely shrouded the defendant,” Court of Appeal judge Datuk Abdul Malik Ishak had said in his grounds of judgment, referring to Ganesan.
Abdul Malik had also said the Kuala Lumpur High Court was right to strike out Sivakumar’s suit.
“That means that in future, you can remove the Speaker before the assembly opens,” Sivakumar’s lawyer Chan Kok Keong told The Malaysian Insider today.
The lawyer noted that the Federal Court’s ruling would have far-reaching consequences, including corporate lawsuits.
“In any company, any chairman can be forcibly removed even before the board meeting, even if it is done illegally, as long as the proceedings haven’t started,” Chan said, by way of an example.
The Federal Court also ordered Sivakumar to pay RM7,000 in costs.
The moustachioed Sivakumar, 39, was elected to the Perak state assembly Speaker’s chair on April 25 2008, following the landmark 2008 general election that saw the DAP-PKR-PAS alliance take control of Perak.
The DAP politician remains the state lawmaker for Tronoh. - Malaysian Insider