DISSENT: Perak Bar Committee to submit memo
IPOH: A MEMORANDUM objecting to the shutdown of Taiping High Court will be submitted to the government soon.
The Perak Bar Committee is working on the memorandum after feedback from its members.
It is learnt that a majority of the feedback has not been in favour of the closure, believed to be because of changes to the Subordinate Courts (Amendment) Act 2010.
Under the changes, the monetary jurisdiction of the magistrate's court has been increased to RM100,000 from RM25,000 previously, while the Sessions Court can hear cases involving claims to a maximum of RM1 million from RM250,000 earlier.
Perak Bar Committee chairman Vivekanandan A.M.S. Periasamy said since news of the closure a week ago, he had instructed Taiping-based lawyers to discuss the matter.
"None of the feedback I have received so far is in favour of the shutdown. As such, I am asking the authorities, especially the judiciary, to review the matter."
Vivekanandan reminded the authorities "to go back to the basics" why a High Court was set up in Taiping almost 20 years ago.
He said it was to ease the burden of the public, especially the old and the frail, who had to travel to the Ipoh to attend to high court matters.
"Over the years, the Taiping High Court has functioned extremely well and it should not be shut down," Vivekanandan said, adding that it was also not convenient for lawyers to juggle between the magistrate's court and Sessions Court in Taiping and the Ipoh High Court.
"As it is, the courts are trying to dispose of cases fast. How is it going to help if the Taiping High Court is shut down?
"The Ipoh High Court is already very busy and if it has to take over Taiping High Court cases as well, it is going to be choking."
The New Straits Times reported yesterday that the Taiping High Court, which was set up to serve northern Perak almost 20 years ago, would soon be closed.