Bar explains why it 'rejected' Salleh
Beh Lih Yi | Oct 24, 08 7:07pm
The Bar Council responds to a controversy on why it rejected former lord president Salleh Abas’ bid to rejoin a law firm he founded as a consultant.
Salleh puzzled by decision
Former Lord President Tun Salleh Abas is perturbed over the Bar Council’s decision not to give him a waiver on his application to be admitted as consultant of his firm. Salleh’s firm Salleh Abas, Yaacob and Sofiah first applied for him to be admitted as a consultant on Feb 27, 2006.
A week after it submitted the application, council secretary Ragunath Kesavan replied in a letter that he could not be admitted because he did not meet the requirement to have been in active practice in the Bar for a minimum of 20 years.
When contacted yesterday, Salleh, who turns 80 next year, said the matter was being dealt by the firm’s partner Megat Shaharuddin Merican, who later revealed all the correspondence with the council and the Attorney-General’s office.
He said the Bar Council may, with the approval of Attorney-General Tan Sri Abdul Gani Patail, waive any of this ruling.
On Feb 14, 2007, Tun Salleh wrote to Gani whether he could get some dispensation on the rule.
The A-G’s office wrote back on April 17, 2007 that they were not in a position to accommodate his request as the waiver must be initiated by the council.
The A-G’s letter stated that council president Datuk Ambiga Sreenevasan insisted on strict compliance with the rule.
On Dec 27, 2007, the firm wrote to Ambiga and highlighted the A-G’s comment.
After a request for a response, the Bar Council finally replied on Feb 12 this year, saying: “We regret that the Bar Council is not in a position to accede to your request in light of Rule 60.”
Rule 60 states the requirements for one to qualify as a consultant.
On July 22, the council replied that they were in the process of amending Rule 60.
When contacted yesterday, Ambiga said the rule did not adversely affect Salleh’s right to practise as he could continue to do so as a lawyer and partner of his firm.
“All decisions were collectively taken by the council.
“By March next year, Tun Salleh will qualify to be a consultant,” she said, adding that the council would issue a full statement today.
source: Salleh puzzled by decision Malaysian Bar Council.
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