The courts and the judiciary have come under scrutiny recently. Allegations of corruption and political inculcation in boot camps have taken up many column inches in both the print and online media. Another ill plaguing the courts, undue delay in resolving cases, has also been highlighted through Irene Fernandez’s decade-long “false news” case. Industrial courts, running parallel to our civil courts, have also been criticised for delays.
The Federal Court expressed disapproval in September that the wrongful dismissal case of a civil servant, M. Senthivelu, took 26 years and six months to be resolved. During this period, Senthivelu had died, and his daughter was substituted as the respondent. Unfortunately for Senthivelu and his family, he lost his case.
Among other delayed cases reported this year, the Industrial Court awarded a salesman back wages and reinstatement for his dismissal in 2004. And the High Court compensated a production manager for his wrongful dismissal in 2001.
It comes then as no surprise that the Bar Council’s Industrial Court Practice Committee has called for an employment appeals tribunal to speed up the process.