PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal by Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor in her bid to challenge the appointment of the late Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram who led the prosecution against her in the solar hybrid project trial.
A three-judge panel, chaired by Justice Hanipah Farikullah, unanimously dismissed Rosmah’s appeal against the High Court’s dismissal of her leave application to initiate judicial review on grounds that there was no merit in the appeal.
Other judges on the panel were Justices Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali and See Mee Chun.
In the decision, which was read out by Justice See on Thursday (June 22), the panel agreed that Rosmah’s application for leave to initiate the judicial review at the High Court was “out of time”, as the application should have been filed within three months from when the fiat (authorisation letter) was first sighted.
Justice See said the appellant should have filed the application within the time frame from the date when the fiat was first sighted where the appellant would have been aware that the fiat was, in their own words, invalid, thus rendering the appointment of Sri Ram illegal, irregular and defective, and the proceedings of the solar hybrid case a nullity, void and a mistrial.
“The grounds of application would have a reason then.
“The judicial review, being mandated within three months from the date (of first sighting), we find the appellant to be out of time,” she said here on Thursday.
The court ordered Rosmah to pay RM10,000 in costs.
On June 24, 2022, Rosmah filed the leave application to initiate judicial review at the High Court.
She named the Attorney General, the government of Malaysia and Sri Ram as respondents.
Rosmah sought a declaration that the appointment of Sri Ram as senior deputy public prosecutor through three letters of appointment (fiat), dated July 8, 2020, May 11 and May 21, 2021, respectively, was unlawful.
In addition, Rosmah sought a declaration that the entire prosecution proceedings and full trial for the solar case which took place since Nov 15, 2018 until the defence closed the case were invalid and void and she must be acquitted of all charges under Section 16 (a) (A) of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009.
On Aug 30, 2022, the High Court dismissed her application on grounds that the application for leave for judicial review made under Order 53 rule 3(6) of the Rules of Court 2012 challenging Sri Ram’s fiat must be filed within three months from the date when the grounds of application first rose or when the decision was first communicated to the applicant (Rosmah).
On Sept 1, 2022, Justice Mohamed Zaini Mazlan (now a Court of Appeal judge) found Rosmah guilty of the corruption charges in the solar hybrid project case and sentenced her to 10 years in jail and fined RM970mil.
She has filed an appeal against her conviction and sentence and is currently out on a RM2mil bail pending her appeal at the Court of Appeal.
Meanwhile, Sri Ram, who was a former Federal Court judge, passed away at the age of 79 in January of this year.
– The Star