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Friday, April 29, 2016

IGP cannot refuse to order officers to arrest Ridhuan, rules apex court

The duties of a police officer include the execution of warrants of committal issued against a person, resulting from a contempt proceeding, says the Federal Court.
In ordering inspector-general of police (IGP) Khalid Abu Bakar to arrest Muslim convert Mohd Ridhuan Abdullah, the Federal Court ruled that Ridhuan must be arrested to face justice.
Court of Appeal President Md Raus Sharif, who led the five-member bench in the unanimous decision, said the general duties of police officers under the command of the IGP are stipulated under Section 20 (3) of the Police Act 1967.
“This includes apprehending all persons who he is, by law, authorised to apprehend and executing summonses, subpoenas, warrants, commitments and other processes lawfully issued by any competent authority,” among others.
“In this light, we are of the view that (based) on the facts and circumstances of this case, the IGP cannot refuse to command his officers to execute the warrant of committal issued by the civil High Court.
“Thus, when the IGP declared his intention not to execute the said warrant of committal, an order of mandamus (to compel him to do so) can be issued against him,” Justice Md Raus said.
He said that an order in the nature of mandamus, under Paragraph 1 of the Schedule to the Courts of Judicature Act 1964, can be directed at the IGP to compel him to command the execution of the warrant of committal where the IGP has demonstrated a refusal to execute or command the execution of the warrant.
Justice Md Raus also ticked off Ridhuan for ignoring the court's order when the case did not turn in his favour after he had willingly submitted himself to the jurisdiction of the civil court.
“We are of the view that this kind of conduct cannot be condoned. The administration of justice will be brought into disrepute if the court's order is wilfully disobeyed by a party against whom a warrant of committal had been issued after he was found guilty of contempt of court,” the judge said.
He wrote this in his 19-page judgment in the case which has grabbed national headlines over the unilateral conversion that saw Ridhuan seizing 11-month-old Prasana Diksa, seven years ago, from her kindergarten teacher mother, M Indira Gandhi.
With today's decision, the police are directed to find Ridhuan, formerly K Pathmanathan. -Mkini

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