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.
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)
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