Monday, October 3, 2016

Can Khalid Abu Bakar solve custodial death in Malaysia or his sandiwara

The Malaysian Bar welcomes the announcement that the Inspector General of Police, Tan Sri Dato’ Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, will head a special committee established to take measures to prevent deaths in police lockups, which will implement frequent visits by doctors and also visits by Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (“SUHAKAM”) Commissioners.  Such measures provide some assurance of the level of seriousness being accorded to the grave issue of deaths in police custody. the protocol prescribed under the Yayasan Bantuan Guaman Kebangsaan (“YBGK”) scheme, which is an initiative made possible by Prime Minister Dato’ Sri Najib Tun Abdul Razak, and supported by the Government, does not appear to have been complied with by the police.  The guidelines for enforcement officers stipulate that as soon as an arrest has been made, and before the suspect is questioned, the police officer must inform the suspect’s family (or friend) of the arrest, and must also provide details of the suspect and the arrest to YBGK, who will then despatch a lawyer to offer legal representation to the arrested person.
The present state of affairs has led to much public outrage and an erosion of confidence in the police.  The police must be proactive in ensuring that the wrongful actions of some amongst them do not tarnish the standing of the whole force.  Unless this is addressed, the police force will unfortunately remain a diminished institution in the eyes of the public.

The Malaysian Bar is dismayed and saddened by the news of yet another death in police custody, involving  Azri Mohamed,

The body of Azri Mohamed, who died while in police custody about two weeks ago, arrived today at the Kuala Lumpur hospital from Kota Baru for a second post-mortem.

The family’s lawyer Raul Lee Bhaskaran told Malaysiakini that they have met with the team of doctors this afternoon. is tragic and inexcusable.  It is yet another incident that raises serious questions about the treatment and safety of detainees in police custody, and the methods of interrogation used.  It underscores the importance of the requirement for those in police custody to have immediate access to legal counsel upon arrest. The unabated deaths in police custody reinforce the Malaysian Bar’s repeated calls for the Government to implement the recommendation of the Royal Commission to Enhance the Operation and Management of the Royal Malaysia Police, in its report published in May 2005, for the setting up of an Independent Police Complaints and Misconduct Commission (“IPCMC”) to function as an independent and external oversight body to investigate complaints about police personnel.

It is untenable for the Government to continue to ignore the dire need for the IPCMC, in the face of continuing cases of deaths in police custodyThe findings point to several police personnel including senior police officers being involved, not least in a conspiracy to cover up police responsibility for his death. This is completely unacceptable and the perpetrators must be held accountable for their actions.

The report details the extensive violations of existing rules and regulations that characterised this case, including:the use of brutal violence on a detainee during interrogation,false entries into the station diary of lockup D9, including tampering of times in the entries,
false information in a police report about the death of the deceased,
serious misconduct in ordering the re-arrest of the deceased without justification (the deceased should have been released at the end of the first remand),an eight-day delay in allowing the right of the deceased to contact and have access to his family,
the CCTV in lockup D9 not being in working order since 2009,
a lack of knowledge or awareness of standard operating procedures among officers and police personnel, and
overcrowding in the lockup (more than four people). At times, there were between six and 16 people in the lockup.
The lack of integrity, respect or even knowledge of rules and procedures shown by certain police personnel is shocking and has to be dealt with by the authorities if we are to have any confidence in the system.
 Azri Mohamed death in custody is not an isolated incident. It is yet another example which leaves Malaysians wondering about what really goes on in lockups or interrogation sessions during remand. Malaysians cannot be blamed if we are asking why rules and regulations are not adhered to and why some police officers can apparently behave like thugs and not be brought to justice.

We should have a police force which we are proud of, not one which leaves us shaking our heads in despair. The current situation and public perception about the police force does a great injustice to the police officers who work hard and are themselves law abiding.

The home ministry must work with the Royal Malaysian Police to reign in rogue police officers. These police officers must be investigated, charged, convicted and imprisoned if we are to see an end to deaths in police custody.

Strong recommendations have been made by the EAIC concerning the treatment of detainees, facilities in lockups and the need for police training and adherence to standard operating procedures – not only in Dharmendran’s case but also in their investigations into other deaths in custody. It is high time the home ministry take stock of these recommendations and ensure their implementation.

As a sign of a commitment towards ending deaths in custody, be they in police lockups, detention centres or prisons, the Malaysian government would do well to also ratify the United Nations Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment (UNCAT).

This treaty outlines specific measures for governments to take in order to prevent any form of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment within its borders.

It is obvious that the government needs some heavy prodding to move in this direction – to change the present culture in the police force where some police officers can act with chilling impunity. This culture has to be challenged if we are to provide the basic right to protection for all and bring an end to deaths in police custody.

Justice may be delayed, but it can never be denied

the Supreme Court rejected the death sentence passed by the High Court on the grounds that there was no proof that the one-armed psychopath who assaulted her first threw her out of a moving train.
The judges reportedly relied on the testimony of two passengers in an adjacent compartment that Soumya had jumped out. One has to assume that the passengers in the adjacent compartment did not see Soumya being assaulted and therefore did not intervene. If the passengers in the adjacent compartment did not see Soumya being assaulted, the logical question could be asked how they could testify that she jumped out of the moving train and was not pushed out by the rapist.
If the passengers of the adjacent compartment had intervened, a terrified Sowmya would not have been thrown out or jumped out of the moving train. It is a bit like saying that terrorists of the 9/11 variety who set fire to a skyscraper or a multi-storeyed building are not responsible for the deaths of those who jump out of the windows to escape the flames.
If the decisions of not just ministers but judges can be queried, there is a question which could be asked in the case of Soumya. If the accused with one arm is strong enough to overpower a young woman and be adjudged guilty of rape, it could also be assumed that he is strong enough to throw her out of a moving train. Or should the Indian Railways advertise that young women should not travel alone in a compartment unless there is 24-by-7 CCTV to show a passenger physically being thrown out of the moving train.
In the second case, the Supreme Court had, according to media reports, held on September 16 that the rape and killing of a 7-year-old in the year 2011 did not come under the category of the rarest of rare cases requiring a death sentence.
The judges sentenced him to 25 years in jail and stated that life imprisonment of 14 years would not be sufficient punishment. The sentence of 25 years, the judges added, would help convicts in getting rid of the death penalty in appropriate cases while taking care of the genuine concerns of the victim and society.
The judges who held that the rape and killing of a 7-year-old is not the rarest of rare cases could perhaps remember that the overwhelming majority of their countrymen are not hardened psychotic criminals and would be shocked out of their senses at the assault and killing of a young child.
It is not just ministers who are accountable to the people they serve. So is the judiciary.
Those who are assaulted and killed are usually members of the economically weaker sections who cannot afford their own transport. Hence crimes against the economically weaker sections and their young children are more common and are statistically not the rarest of rare cases.
However, if the rape and killing of a 7-year-old is not judicially considered the rarest of rare case, this could lead to a perception among the economically weaker and vulnerable sections that the more elite classes (which includes not just ministers and policymakers but also senior judges) are distanced from them and just does not empathize with their problems.

Every good drama needs a few sub-plots whirling through the mainframe. The most captivating within our current political theatre is surely the joust that is odd that the government should have chosen law and order as its final alibi after some exhausting self-laceration in its search for a credible explanation for the escape of a criminal Najib
The only initiative worth taking is one that will yield positive results. If one embarks on a destructive course of action, it will be oneself that suffers. Therefore, one should steer clear of such actions, as any sensible person steers clear of destroying his own life.No charges will be brought against Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak based on the investigations carried out by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission

will stink for ten thousand years
Corrupt political leadership does not attractive men of outstanding integrity; neither can it be expected to enact effective laws to maintain high integrity in government. That truism has practically reduced our options to only one – a change of political leadership. That is, if we are still serious about restoring the rule of law and the pursuit of excellence for the country.The general logic doesn’t apply to AG. When others take refuge in opacity, we are justified in suspecting that they are hiding corruption. But when AG chanbers wrap themselves in a veil of secrecy, we have to take it that they are actually doing so for our good, so that they are not distracted by allegations of corruption against themselves.One way of coming to terms with this distinction is to re-adopt the outdated notion that king could do no wrong. Going by his logic,  does seem to suggest some such blanket immunity to  attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali

 The Supreme Court on Friday read out the riot act to Congress MP Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury for not vacating the sprawling ministerial bungalow in New Moti Bagh in south Delhi and ordered him to shift out without further fuss.
Coming out strongly against the malady of overstaying by elected representatives and public servants in government accommodation, a bench of Chief Justice T S Thakur and Justices A K Sikri and R Banumathi said, "You vacate immediately. You must find an alternative temporary accommodation. You cannot grab this government accommodation. You have no legal right to stay in a house to which you have no entitlement."
also read this
The scope of the Attorney-General’s powers in these institutions, there is still the question of integrity of the key office-  of police and director general of ACA. It is often said that one may have the best laws in the world, but if we have crooks to implement them, the good laws may come to nothing attorney-general Mohamed Apandi Ali the predator, not protector do not seem to comply with internationally accepted standards for managing conflict of interest in cases

We just don’t seem to get it. The normal standards of accountability don’t apply to a,g We are unable to grasp their argument that, much as it is desirable in other institutions, transparency in the judiciary will compromise its independence, a larger constitutional value. Hence, we persist with the folly of expecting A.G chamber to be swept away by the wave of transparency triggered Justice is blind because it needs to be;a form of bastardised justice.
Corruption is a way of life in Maklaysia and AG chambers part of it  are den of corruption. But they are kept above board for unknown reasons. They should be accountable for what they do. Right now rules at various levels protect them undeservedly.fullstoryAG must be arrested for harbouring a criminal Najib

Appearing for the Congress leader, advocate Bijan Ghosh said the government had violated the MP's human rights by disconnecting electricity and water connection to the house. "A person has some human rights and the government must be directed to respect it," he said.
But the court said, "There is some propriety also. You must vacate. You have already overstayed in the house for nearly two years without entitlement. You cannot grab this house. Your paying the house rent is no consideration to permit you to illegally occupy the house."
When Ghosh said there were several others who were overstaying and termed it as a "practice", the bench said, "It is a malpractice that elected representatives overstay in the official bungalows."The MP had cried foul over the government's move to evict him from the Type-8 house, generally allotted to Union ministers. He had termed the action "political vendetta" while the Delhi High Court refused to entertain his petition seeking stay of his eviction.
Chowdhury, a Lok Sabha member, had moved the division bench of the HC against the February 1 order of the single bench's order dismissing his plea against the eviction, following which the authorities had disconnected water and power supply to his bungalow at 14, New Moti Bagh.
As a member of Lok Sabha, he is entitled to a Type-6 house. He was allotted alternative accommodation at C-1/99, Moti Bagh by the house committee of Lok Sabha in January, 2015 which he has not accepted.
Chowdhury is not alone in overstaying in government accommodation. The problem was so widespread that the SC entertained a petition on this and heard it for close to a decade before giving out several rulings.
In the final ruling on July 6, 2013, the SC had ruled that ministers and elected representatives in unauthorized occupation of government bungalows, or illegally overstaying in it, would face breach of privilege proceedings in Parliament.
 Sonia and RaGa are already culprits

Knowing the spread of the malady of unauthorized occupation in all branches of governance -- legislature, executive and judiciary -- the SC had set an example by being unsparing on judges of the SC and high courts and said they must vacate government accommodation within a month of retirement.
For other government servants, it said the department concerned would intimate them about vacation of government quarters three months prior to their retirement. If they didn't heed the notice, they could find their pension reduced in addition to the ignominy of being forcibly evicted.
With the judgment issuing a series of guidelines, the court brought to an end the decade-long

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