Saturday September 8, 2012
Review of statutory rape
By TERENCE TOH
PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal can exercise its inherent jurisdiction to review the statutory rape case of former national bowler Noor Afizal Azizan, said Chief Justice of Malaysia Tun Arifin Zakaria.
While there was no further power to appeal the decision from the Court of Appeal stage, the apex court had the power to review the case upon application by the Attorney-General’s Chambers, Ariffin told reporters while attending a Hari Raya open house at the Palace of Justice yesterday.
“If the AG applies, whether it is proper for the judges to use their inherent jurisdiction will be up to the court to decide later,” he said.
The Court of Appeal had upheld a Sessions Court’s decision to impose a five year good behaviour bond on Noor Afizal, who pleaded guilty to committing statutory rape on a 13 year old girl three years ago.
Asked about the case of Penang electrician Chuah Guan Jiu, who was also given a similiar judgement for statutory rape, Arifin declined to comment.
“I cannot comment now, because the matter is pending. They are going to appeal, so it would be sub judice for me to say anything. It would prejudice the case. But we are looking into it, and considering everything.”
On Aug 26, Chuah, 22, was given a RM25,000 bond on a charge of raping a 12-year-old girl under Section 376 of the Penal Code, due to his young age at the time of the offence and because he was a first time offender.
The Chief Justice also told reporters that the judiciary would be concentrating on improving the Shah Alam court system next year.
“From next year onwards, we will be focusing on Shah Alam. There are still a lot of cases there. The last time, we focused our attention on Kuala Lumpur,” he said.
Arifin said that among other improvements, they would be bringing in two High Court judges from East Malaysia to serve in Shah Alam.