KUALA LUMPUR – The High Court on Thursday allowed an application by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and seven other people to strike out a suit filed by the family of the late private investigator P. Balasubramaniam.
Balasubramaniam’s widow A. Santamil Selvi and her children, B. Kishen, B. Menaga and B. Reeshi, had filed the suit last June, naming as defendants seven people, among them Najib’s younger brothers Datuk Ahmad Johari Abdul Razak and Datuk Mohd Nazim Abdul Razak.
The five other defendants were senior lawyer Tan Sri Cecil Wilbert Mohanaraj Abraham and his son Sunil Abraham; commissioner for oaths Zainal Abidin Muhayat; businessman Deepak Jaikishan and lawyer M. Arunapalam.
Judge Datuk Hasnah Mohammed Hashim, in allowing the application, said the members of Balasubramaniam’s family had no locus standi to file the suit because they did not have the letter of administration issued by any court to do so.
She said they had also failed to state in detail the what, when, how and where of the conspiracy among the defendants that had allegedly caused harm to Balasubramaniam and his family.
Hasnah said the plaintiffs should have filed the suit between 2008 and 2013 when the conspiracy was alleged to have taken place and before Balasubramaniam died, but they had filed it last June.
The court also ruled that there had been no special circumstances to enable it to allow the merits of the suit to be heard at a full trial because the plaintiffs had no right to file the suit.
As such, the court allowed the application by the defendants to strike out the suit, Hasnah said.
The court arrived at the decision after hearing submissions on Nov 20 from counsel Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun who represented Najib and Rosmah, and several other counsel who represented the defendants as well as Americk Singh Sidhu who represented Santamil Selvi and her children. The court reserved judgement for today.
The court ordered the plaintiffs to pay costs of RM2,000 to all the defendants except three of them, namely Ahmad Johari, Cecil Abraham and Sunil Abraham who had not sought costs.
Santamil Selvi and her children had filed the suit for losses suffered during their stay out of the country for 56 months, from July 4, 2008, to March 15, 2013, when Balasubramaniam died.
She said in the statement of claim that her husband was forced to withdraw the first statutory declaration made on July 1, 2008, pertaining to certain facts in the murder of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu.
She also claimed that her husband, who was appointed as a private investigator by former political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda who was one of the accused in the Altantuya murder case, had said that the statutory declaration was issued at a press conference on July 3, 2008.
Santamil Selvi and her children had sought damages amounting to RM840,000, including for rental of an apartment in Chennai, India; the children’s school fees and loss of income as a kindergarten teacher; housing loan, transport costs, general damages, special damages and costs.
Americk Singh, when approached by the media, said an appeal would be filed to the Court of Appeal. – Bernama