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Judge withdraws from hearing judicial review bid in Teoh Beng Hock case

High Court judge Amarjeet Singh says he is withdrawing himself as he was previously involved in the Royal Commission of Inquiry into the death of Beng Hock.

2 minute read
The Kuala Lumpur court complex which houses the High Court.
The Kuala Lumpur court complex which houses the High Court.

High Court judge Amarjeet Singh today recused himself from hearing a judicial review application by the parents of the late Teoh Beng Hock for a court order for the police to complete the investigation into their son's death almost 14 years ago.

Senior federal counsel Ahmad Hanir Hambaly, when contacted by reporters, said the decision was made by the judge during the case management today.

The judge withdrew from hearing the case because he was involved in the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Beng Hock's death, he said, adding that the court also set July 10 for the next case management before judge Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh.

In the application filed on Jan 4, Beng Hock's parents, father Teoh Leong Hwee, 75, and mother Teng Shuw Hoi, 70, had sought a declaration that the failure by the police and three others to complete the investigations into their son's death within a reasonable period of time violated Section 20 (3) of the Police Act 1967.

The couple named the inspector-general of police (IGP), the director of the criminal investigation department, the police and the Malaysian government as the first to fourth respondents.

On June 16 last year, the High Court granted the couple leave to initiate the judicial review proceedings after dismissing the Attorney-General Chamber's (AGC) objection to the application.

The couple is also seeking a declaration that the police had committed negligence and attempted to deny the applicants' constitutional rights as stated under Article 8 of the Federal Constitution, in addition to applying for a mandamus order for the first respondent (IGP) to complete the investigation into Beng Hock's death within a month's time from the date the verdict is delivered.

The application was filed on the grounds that although three special task forces were set up to investigate the cause of their son's death, the investigation was found to be incomplete, based on a letter from the second respondent dated Sept 21, 2021, which stated that the AGC had returned the investigation papers to the IGP on Sept 3, 2021.

The couple claimed that the investigation papers had been repeatedly returned to the first, second and third respondents by the AGC for further investigation which until now, was still not completed although the incident happened almost 14 years ago.

Beng Hock was found sprawled on the fifth-floor landing of Plaza Masalam in Shah Alam on the morning of July 16, 2009, after giving a statement at the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission office located on the 14th floor of the building.

He was the political secretary to the then Selangor state executive councillor Ean Yong Hian Wah, who is also Seri Kembangan assemblyman.

On Jan 5, 2011, the Shah Alam Coroner's Court ruled that Beng Hock's death in 2009 was not due to suicide or murder or third-party involvement, while the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Beng Hock’s death on July 21, 2011, established that he had committed suicide.

On Sept 5, 2014, the Court of Appeal overturned the open verdict on the death of Beng Hock and ruled that the death resulted from an unlawful act by a person or persons unknown.