The late lawyer and politician Karpal Singh’s sedition charge was finally cleared on 29th of March this year. He was convicted 10 years ago when uttering seditious comments about the late Sultan of Perak Sultan Azlan Shah.
Contextually, Karpal criticized the Sultan for removing Datuk Seri Mohammad Nizar Jamaluddin as the Menteri Besar of Perak during the 2009 Perak constitutional crisis. The High Court initially discharged Karpal during the prosecution stage, but later reversed their decision and asked him to enter his defence in 2012.
In 2014, they found him guilty over his remarks and ordered him to pay a fine of RM 4,000. On April 17th 2014, Karpal was involved in a fatal car accident on the North-South Expressway near Gua Tempurung, Perak.
Regardless of his passing, it did not stop Karpal from being convicted by the Court of Appeal, as they reaffirmed that he had made an offence and reduced his fine to RM1,800. The decision was not unanimous.
But after a recent hearing, Karpal’s son Ramkarpal Singh, who is also a lawyer, said there were a lot of misdirected decisions made by the court previously, such as Karpal not being given a chance to exercise his constitutional rights to a fair trial and the High Court failing to analyse the defence.
Ramkarpal noted the Federal Court was unanimous on the decision that Karpal was not given a fair trial earlier, and declared him innocent.
On top of that, the remarks made in the past during the constitutional crisis was considered ‘nothing personal’ and he was just simply carrying out his duty as a federal lawmaker.
It is unfortunate that Karpal passed so early, while the people around him successfully defended the famed lawyer. Undoubtedly his family members and friends are relieved about this news and perhaps hope to readjust other people’s views about the lawyer.