LEGAL INDEPENDENCE

Petitions to remove DPP are misguided

In Summary

• Jack n Jill supermarket owner has withdrawn his petition seeking the removal of DPP Noordin Haji

• The DPP is still facing at least three other petitions seeking his removal for failure to prosecute certain cases

Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji at a past event.
Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji at a past event.
Image: FILE

The Director of Public Prosecutions is a vital part of the 2010 Constitution. The DPP enjoys security of tenure for a single eight-year appointment and can only be removed for mental incapacity or proven integrity issues. It is the DPP's right to decide whether or not there is sufficient evidence to prosecute.

This week the proprietor of Jack n Jill supermarket withdrew a petition seeking the removal of DPP Noordin Haji for failing to prosecute his former business associate for not repaying a personal loan. Schon Noorani says he now realises, rightly, that it is a civil matter and not criminal.

Unfortunately this is not the only petition seeking the removal of DPP Haji. It appears there is an orchestrated attempt by certain individuals, for their own reasons, to get a DPP who is willing to prosecute even where there is insufficient evidence and prosecution is likely to fail.

Those individuals may claim that there is indeed sufficient evidence and that the DPP has been compromised. But then they are free to seek a judicial review in the High Court or apply to conduct a private prosecution.

But what should not happen is for the courts to be bombarded with frivolous petitions for the removal of the DPP for failing to prosecute.

Quote of the day: "A lie told often enough becomes the truth."

Vladimir Lenin
He called for the October Revolution on November 5, 1917.