Auditorium use: Lawyer settles suit with Bar Council
Hafiz Yatim | Aug 13, 09 6:31pm
Less than three months after filing a RM160 million suit against the Malaysian Bar, a lawyer-cum-author has managed to obtain a consent judgment from the Kuala Lumpur High Court today to settle the matter amicably.
Now he can use the Bar Council's premises to launch his second book "Presumed Guilty".
T Vijayandran had filed the suit on May 25 claiming that the Bar had prevented him from using its auditorium for the launch of "Presumed Guilty".
The Bar had disallowed the lawyer from the use of its auditorium pending investigation into his first book "No Intention to Kill", published in 2008, for breach of publicity rules.
Vijayandran obtained the consent judgment from Justice T Selventhiranathan today and it allowed him to use the Bar premises as long as the lawyer agreed to abide with the terms and conditions set in the use of the auditorium.
Part of the settlement included a condition that Bar should not be seen as endorsing the book by allowing it to be launched at its premises.
The settlement also stated that the Bar was not stopped from instituting any disciplinary action against Vijayandran with regards to the first book.
The judgment entered today also ordered the council to put up Vijayandran's advertisement over the second book at its website.
"Following today's consent judgment, the Bar has allowed me to use its auditorium for the launch of the `Presumed Guilty' book on Aug 29 at 10.30am," said Vijayandran.
"I feel vindicated and I am glad that the matter has been settled amicably," he told Malaysiakini.
He represented himself in the action, while the Malaysian Bar, named as the defendant in the suit, was represented by Yap Mong Jaya.
Investigated for self-promotion
In his suit, Vijayandran claimed that the Bar was acting in a discriminatory manner by now allowing him as a paying member to use the premises.
The Bar Council is investigating Vijayandran on a breach of Legal Profession (Publicity) Rules 2001 which states that in any advertisement placed by a legal firm, there should be no mention of any case which a lawyer in the firm has won.
This becomes a contentious issue as the first book is written by a person's point of view creating a possible avenue for advertising. Vijayandran's stand is that the book is not an advertisement.
That particular rule has since been amended, allowing lawyers to do otherwise.
Vijayandran said his first book "No Intention to Kill" received a good response and now he is presently working on his third book titled "Ecstasy".