‘Convicted public servants have no right to be heard’
PUTRAJAYA: Public servants dismissed from service due to criminal conviction or detention under preventive laws do not have the right to be heard in disciplinary proceedings, the Federal Court ruled.
Appeal Court president Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif said Article 135 (2)(a) and (b) of the Federal Constitution took away a person’s right to be heard under those circumstances.
Md Raus chaired a five-man panel on Tuesday to decide on the case of former police chief inspector Mohd Azuan Aniffa, who was detained for two years from 2006 under the repealed Internal Security Act (ISA) 1960.
The panel had allowed the appeal, filed by the Bukit Aman police disciplinary board chairman, inspector-general of police and the Malaysian government.
The court overturned a High Court and Appeals Court decision to reinstate Mohd Azuan, 48, and allow him to receive payment for backdated wages.
Mohd Azuan brought his matter to court after he was dismissed from service effective Nov 26, 2008, on grounds that he was denied the right to be heard.
In his written judgment, Md Raus said based on the facts and circumstances, it was clear the intention of the disciplinary authority, on recommendation by the department head, was to dismiss Mohd Azuan because of a criminal conviction.
He said there were errors in quoting the regulations in the suspension and dismissal letters but the errors were insufficient to vitiate the disciplinary board’s decision to dismiss Mohd Azuan from service.
“The respondent (Mohd Azuan) was dismissed due to the detention order that was made against him.”