|Lawyer loses appeal over right to practise|
|Wednesday, 16 May 2012 08:54am|
©The New Straits Times (Used by permission)
PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court has reaffirmed the Advocates and Solicitors Disciplinary Board's decision to bar a lawyer from practising after he released RM750,000 belonging to a client to "unauthorised" people.
Judge Tan Sri Raus Sharif , who led a five-man bench, said such professional misconduct by B. Kasturi Keseveren was serious.
"As such, the board's decision to strike his name off the rolls of the Advocates and Solicitors is correct," he said.
Kasturi, was appointed to act for Tai Nam Sim & Sons Realty, the owner of a nine-acre property in Kajang, in a land transaction .
Best Fair Promotion Sdn Bhd wanted to purchase the property valued at RM7.5 million. Its legal firm then transferred RM750,000 or 10 per cent of the purchase price to Kasturi upon the signing of the sale and purchase agreement.
However, Kasturi released the money to unauthorised people. Best Fair Promotion then filed a complaint to the Bar Council, which referred the matter to the board.
An inquiry was held and the board in 2010 found Kasturi guilty of professional misconduct under the Legal Profession Act.
The High Court and Court of Appeal dismissed Kasturi's appeal.
Kasturi, who represented himself, had earlier raised a preliminary objection that lawyers representing the board and the council had no locus standi to appear and oppose his appeal because he had paid RM450,000 to Best Fair Promotion as a settlement last week.
He said Best Fair Promotion had also withdrawn its complain against him.
However, S. Raam Kumar, who appeared for the board, said the council and the board had the right to appear and address before any civil court even though a complainant had withdrawn his case.
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