Sikh judge elavated to Malaysia’s top court

Court of Appeal judge Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal elevated to Federal Court

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Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal taking oath as a Federal Court – Photo: Bernama
By Asia Samachar Team | MALAYSIA |

Court of Appeal judge Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal was elevated to the Federal Court last week, making him the only Sikh in Malaysia’s top court.

The 61-year-old judge took the oath of office on 10 July. Born in Negeri Sembilan, he was elevated to the Court of Appeal in March 2016.

He joins the 14-justices strong Federal Court led by Chief Justice Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat. With eight women justices, this is the first time women outnumber men in the nation’s top court.

“He is a well respected judge,” a senior lawyer told Asia Samachar.

Sikh judges who made it to the top Malaysian court, at one time also known as the Supreme Court, in the past were justices Sarwan Singh Gill (popularly known as SS Gill), Pajan Singh Gill and Ajaib Singh. (Corrected).

In 1974, Sarwan rose to the rank of Chief Justice of the High Court in Malaya (Hakim Besar Mahkamah Tinggi di Malaya), making him the first Indian to land the position. He held it till 1979.

Sarwan started his career as the Senior Assistant Registrar of the Supreme Court, Ipoh, in May 1956 and became the Registrar of the Supreme Court, Federation of Malaya in 1957. On 1 Sept 1962, he was made the a judge of the Supreme Court.

In the same recent oath-taking ceremony last week, Bhupindar Singh Gurcharan Singh Preet, a former Malaysian sessions court judge and deputy public prosecutor (DPP), was appointed as a Judicial Commissioner of the High Court of Ipoh. See here.

The 57-year-old law graduate, who began his career as a legal advisor at the Ministry of Works in 1992, was most recently the chairman of the Parole Board since March 2013.

In May 2019, Amarjeet Singh Serjit Singh, who was then the highest ranking Sikh federal counsel, was appointed as a JC. See here.

He was then heading the civil division at Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) and was a household name in Malaysia for appearing on behalf of the government in various high profile cases.

 

RELATED STORY:

Singapore gets a Sikh high court judge (Asia Samachar, 8 April 2018)

Canada appoints Palbinder Kaur Shergill as Supreme Court judge (Asia Samachar, 24 June 2017)

Pahang-born Sikh made judicial commissioner (Asia Samachar, 14 July 2020)

 

ASIA SAMACHAR is an online newspaper for Sikhs / Punjabis in Southeast Asia and beyond. Facebook | WhatsApp +6017-335-1399 | Email: editor@asiasamachar.com | Twitter | Instagram | Obituary announcements, click here |

3 COMMENTS

  1. Premjit Randhawa: Congratulations PAJI LOOK INTO HOTELIERS MINIMUM WAGE CASE WHICH IS IN FEDERAL COURT BEEN 7 YEARS PAY CUT MONTHLY 23/11 FINAL VERDICT PLS LOOK INTO IT TQ

    Bob Singh Sangha Sangha: Tremendous achievement. Congratulations

    Pravin Jessy: A proud moment indeed! Congratulations

    Gurnam Singh Grewal: Punjabis are Sikh, Hindu and Muslims, well he is a Sikh, congrats Harminder

    DrGajan Sidhu Brar: Congratulations , Family , your dad Pritam Singh grand dad Nihal Singh , great grand dad Waryam would have been most delighted 🙏🙏🙏🙏🙏👍👍👍👍👍

    Aneet Kaur: My father and his father were very good friends.. we used to make our yearly trips to his family home in Seremban in the late 70s And early 80s

    DrGajan Sidhu Brar: Aneet Kaur is he not your cousin?????

    Aneet Kaur: DrGajan Sidhu Brar Well we are not blood relatives but close family friends ..Fathers were very good friends .. my dad is VERY proud of his achievements.. i have memories but not close la .. but i guess in our culture he would be a cousin.. my dad said he used to teach him his ABCs when he was a child .. thats how he remembers my dad 🤣

  2. Congrats, Justice Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal. Good to see the elevation of a judge of the highest calibre and standards. Well, that’s what I gather from my friends in the legal fraternity. They say you have written some good judgments. They say you speak, through your judgments, almost fearlessly. Why the ‘almost’? We all know the state of the Malaysian judiciary. Under the circumstances, you have done better than well. Good luck on your journey onwards.

    You will add value to the honorable bench. In a speech, Lady Justice highlighted the qualities required by judges. She said:

    QUOTE

    The judiciary, therefore, needs to understand people in different walks of life and in different cultures. I am not suggesting that judges should decide cases other than according to law, but they do need to know about social issues so as to be able to respond to them. …..In the past, the judiciary has been able to decide issues using its own inner resources but there is presently very little diversity in the judiciary, and to compensate for this, greater weight needs to be given to this sort of awareness.

    END QUOTE

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