Article 125 (3) of the Federal Constitution regulates the manner in which a Judge of the Federal Court may be removed and it says
"If the Prime Minister, or the Chief Justice after consulting the Prime Minister, represents to the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong that a judge of the Federal Court ought to be removed on the ground of any breach of any provision of the code of ethics prescribed under clause (3B) or on the ground of inability, from infirmity of body or mind or any other cause, properly to discharge the functions of his office, the Yang Di-Pertuan Agong shall appoint a tribunal in accordance with Clause 4 and refer the representation to it; and may on the recommendation of the tribunal remove the judge from office."
The position is made even more peculiar now that Tan Sri Gani Patail is reported to have said he is unaware of his removal.
This is a very serious matter. The Attorney-General has sole powers to institute criminal proceedings under the Federal Constitution.
He must have security of tenure in order to carry out his duties without fear or favour and he cannot be removed from office just like that. In this case , Tan Sri Gani was also part of the Special Task Force probing matters relating to 1MDB and the Prime Minister. So how can he just be removed from office in an instant?
I call upon the government to explain. This may set a very dangerous precedent and will have the most unfortunate effect of completely ruining any form of independence on part of the Attorney-General.
We cannot have this. If it is unconstitutional, then it must be corrected forthwith. If nothing is done and it is allowed to remain, then we should be prepared for a complete collapse in our criminal justice system and more in the making.
GOBIND SINGH DEO
National Legal Bureau,