Friday, March 18, 2005

Lawyers involved in scuffle to face action

New Straits Times
By Neville Spykerman

JOHOR BAHRU, Thurs. - The Johor Bar Committee today said that the scuffle during its elections last Saturday had tarnished the image of the profession and has been referred to the Disciplinary Board.

Johor Bar Committee representative to the Bar Council Roger Tan said such conduct and behaviour could not be tolerated.

The New Straits Times on Monday reported that a verbal dispute between lawyers R.R. Mahendran and S. Gunapati became physical during nominations for the post of the Bar Committee chairman.

"The committee deplores the incident and has resolved that the matter be immediately referred to the Disciplinary Board for further actions pursuant to Section 99(3) of the Legal Profession Act 1976," he said.

Tan said the decision was taken in view of the seriousness of the matter.

The drama on Saturday unfolded when Mahendran addressed the floor and asked whether a lawyer who had been "convicted" and fined RM10,000 by the Disciplinary Board was qualified to stand for State Bar committee chairman.

It was reported that S. Gunapati took offence to Mahendran's query, and a heated verbal exchange erupted.

Mahendran claimed that Gunapati, one of the two candidates nominated for the post of Chairman, then struck him on the head from behind.

Gunapati denied the allegation, and said he had been going up to speak at the podium when Mahendran deliberately tripped him.