JB High Court rules MACC can apply for remand under Section 117 of CPC

JOHOR BAHRU – The High Court here today ruled that the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) can apply for remand under Section 117 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) while conducting investigations under the MACC Act 2009.

High Court judge Datuk Abu Bakar Katar said MACC has a choice to either allow the detained suspects to post bail after 24 hours under Section 49(2)(a), (b) or (c) of the MACC Act 2009 or apply for the remand of suspects under Section 117 of the CPC, during its investigations.

“The intention of Parliament in enacting the MACC Act 2009 was to address corruption and this must be prioritised. Therefore, Section 49 of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission Act 2009 should not be read rigidly to the extent that it affects or hinders MACC’s investigation process.

“MACC decides on the facts of each case to determine how its investigation is conducted. MACC is not compelled to allow bail to be posted under Section 49(2) of the MACC Act 2009,” he said when delivering his judgment of the MACC’s judicial review application with regard to the Johor Bahru magistrates court’s rejection of remand application for two suspects detained by MACC on May 15.

The two individuals were detained by MACC to facilitate a case under Section 471 of the Penal Code.

“The court is of the opinion that the Magistrate’s Court here was too reliant on the decision of the Temerloh High Court, when it was weighing MACC’s application for remand. They did not consider other angles as explained above,” he said.

Abu Bakar said however that the matter was now moot as the suspects had already been freed and he did not intend to make any order in the judicial review.

Meanwhile, MACC Legal and Prosecution Division director Datuk Wan Shaharuddin Wan Ladin expressed satisfaction with the Johor Bahru High Court’s detailed explanation today regarding the use of Section 117 of the CPC for remand application.

“Based on the High Court’s decision, which gave an important explanation on the use of relevant remand laws, it is clear that MACC is not bound solely by Section 49 of the MACC Act 2009 for remand applications, as previously decided by the Temerloh High Court,” he said.

He hoped that in future, magistrates should thoroughly review and consider today’s decision and allow their remand applications so that cases can be investigated more efficiently.

“Many magistrates say they are bound by the Temerloh High Court decision. I am not saying they are wrong but what we need is an understanding of how the law is applied, not just solely based on any High Court decision,” he said.

MACC filed the judicial review application on June 15 after the Johor Bahru Magistrate’s Court hearing of the remand application under Section 117 of the CPC ruled that MACC had failed to comply with the provisions of Section 49 of the MACC Act 2009.

In reaching the decision, Magistrate R. Salini relied on the Temerloh High Court decision and opined that MACC’s investigation had deficiencies.

On May 11, the Judicial Commissioner of the Temerloh High Court Roslan Mat Nor ruled that the MACC should use its own Act instead of relying on the CPC because Section 49 of the MACC Act 2009 gives MACC the power to postpone bail so that the investigation can be continued after the first 24 hours of detention. – Bernama