MENTERI DALAM NEGERI & ORS v. GOPAL R SUBRAMANIAM

MENTERI DALAM NEGERI & ORS v. GOPAL R SUBRAMANIAM
Federal Court, Putrajaya
Raus Sharif CJ, Suriyadi Halim Omar, Ramly Ali, Prasad Sandosham Abraham, Jeffrey Tan FCJJ
[Criminal Appeal No: 05-153-06-2016 (R)]
1 June 2017

Criminal Procedure : Habeas corpus - Detention under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 - Detention challenged due to delayed service of Inquiry Officer's Report upon detenu - Whether service of Inquiry Officer's Report upon detenu ought to be "forthwith" - "Forthwith", meaning of - Approach of Court when dealing with habeas corpus applications grounded on delayed or non-forthwith service of Inquiry Officer's Report upon detenu

Criminal Procedure : Preventive detention - Detention under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 - Report of Inquiry Officer - Service of such report on detenu - Whether such service ought to be "forthwith" - "Forthwith", meaning of - Whether service of report on detenu "as soon as reasonably practicable" sufficient - Whether immediate service or service "then and there" of the Inquiry Report upon the detenu not required - Prevention of Crime Act 1959

Preventive Detention : Detention order - Detention under the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 - Service of Inquiry Officer's Report - Service upon detenu - Whether such service ought to be "forthwith" - "Forthwith", meaning of - Whether service of report on detenu "as soon as reasonably practicable" sufficient - Whether immediate service or service "then and there" of the Inquiry Report upon the detenu not required - Prevention of Crime Act 1959

Words & Phrases : "Forthwith" - Prevention of Crime Act 1959, s 10

The respondent was detained for two years on a Detention Order issued by the Prevention of Crime Board ("the Board") pursuant to s 19A(1) of the Prevention of Crime Act 1959 ("POCA"). The officer having custody of the respondent ("Insp I") had on 19 August 2015, received the Report from the Inquiry Officer. At 1.55pm that same day, Insp I served a copy of the Report to the respondent pursuant to s 10(2) of the POCA. The counsel for the respondent took issue with the time involved in the service of the report. The counsel argued that s 10(2) of POCA required the Report to be served upon the respondent "forthwith" and "forthwith" meant immediate. The appellants submitted that "forthwith" meant "as soon as reasonably practicable". The High Court held that "forthwith" in s 10(2) of POCA meant immediate. The appellants appealed to the Federal Court.

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