New Straits Times, Kuala Lumpur, 7 February 1990
Bid to get whipping set aside challenged
By Zulkifli Shukor
PENANG, Tues. -- The High Court today granted leave to the Penang Pardons Board and the Public Prosecutor to enter a conditional appearance to set aside an originating summons by a convicted New Zealand dadah trafficker seeking exemption from whipping.
This follows an application by the Board and the Public Prosecutor in response to Cohen Aaron Shelton's bid to challenge the rejection of his petition to be spared the whipping.
Shelton, 24, was convicted and sentenced to life imprisonment and six strokes of the rotan on a reduced charge under section 39A of the Dangerous Drugs Act 1951 by the High Court in Penang on Sept 1, 1987.
His appeal to the Supreme Court against the conviction and sentence was dismissed on Aug 21 last year.
Shelton applied to the Pardons Board through his counsel, Mr Karpal Singh, in a letter dated Sept 28 last year to be exempted from the whipping sentence.
In the letter, he also applied for Mr Karpal Singh to represent him at the proceedings before the Pardons Board on Nov 30 last year but it was rejected by the board's secretary.
Shelton, in challenging the decision, argued that this rejection and the order to carry on with the whipping sentence was "based on the advice of the Pardons Board" and that it should be null and void.
In his affidavit, Mr Karpal Singh said article 5(1) of the Federal Constitution provides that "no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with law".
In applying for leave to enter a conditional appearance, the Pardons Board, through State Legal Advisor Hashim Datuk Haji Yusoff, said in an affidavit that the originating summons "is a mere contrivance and/or a colourable device to institute an action which is not sustainable in law".
He said the originating summons was misconceived, frivolous, vexatious and/or is otherwise an abuse of the process of the court.
Senior Federal Counsel T. Selventhiranathan, in his affidavit, said the originating summons disclosed no reasonable cause of action against the Public Prosecutor.
Previous: 11 August 1989 - Cohen spotlight focuses on rotan lashing
Follow-up: 19 December 1991 - Cohen given whipping