PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal here today reduced the quantum of damages from RM300,000 to RM100,000 for Utusan Melayu (Malaysia) Berhad to pay a former Selangor State Development Corporation (PKNS) general manager over the publication of a defamatory article.
A three-man panel led by Justice Datuk Dr Prasad Sandosham Abraham substituted the quantum of damages from RM300,000 that was awarded by the High Court to Datuk Othman Omar, to RM100,000.
He dismissed the appeal brought by Utusan Melayu against the High Court’s decision in finding that the article published by the newspaper company was defamatory.
Justice Dr Prasad Sandosham said the court found no reason to interfere with the High Court’s decision except on the quantum of damages which was to be from RM300,000 to RM100,000.
The panel which also included Justices Datuk Kamardin Hashim and Datuk Asmabi Mohamad also ordered Utusan Melayu to pay RM10,000 in costs.
Othman, 57, sued Utusan Melayu over a libellous article against him in its newspaper, Utusan Malaysia, on Jan 29, 2013.
In his statement of claim, he alleged that Utusan Melayu had made defamatory statements without any clarification from his side, damaging his character and good reputation in public.
Utusan Melayu was appealing against the High Court’s decision made on Sept 23, last year, in allowing Othman’s civil suit and had ordered Utusan Melayu to pay RM300,000 in damages to him (Othman).
The High Court judge, Datuk John Louis O’ Hara, also granted an injunction to stop Utusan Melayu from publishing or distributing any similar defamatory statement against Othman.
Utusan Melayu was represented by lawyer Gillian Looh, while counsel Datuk Dhanaraj Vasudevan and P.M. Kalai Selvi represented Othman.