Late Malaysian P.I. Bala's kin fails to reinstate suit over 'forced exile'

Late Malaysian P.I. Bala's kin fails to reinstate suit over 'forced exile'
The late private investigator P. Balasubramaniam

PUTRAJAYA: The family of the late private investigator P. Balasubramaniam has failed to reinstate a suit against Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor whom they accused of forcing them to live abroad for five years, thus causing them anguish.

Court of Appeal judge Justice Mohd Zawawi Salleh, who chaired a three-man panel, held that the family's notice of appeal was defective.

He said the panel had reached a unanimous decision to allow the applications by the eight respondents - the Prime Minister, Datin Seri Rosmah and six others - to strike out the notice and ordered the family to pay RM5,000 in costs to each applicant.

In the panel are Court of Appeal judges Justice Abdul Rahman Sebli and Justice Zamani A. Rahim.

The court also set May 6 for case management for the family's appeal against businessman Deepak Jaikishan over the striking out of the suit.

Speaking to reporters, the family's lawyer Americk Sidhu said he would await instructions from his client whether to appeal against the ruling.

"The appeal will proceed against Deepak as he did not file an application to strike out (our notice of appeal against the striking out of the suit)," said Americk.

Yesterday, the appellate court heard submissions that the family should have filed separate notice of appeals against the striking out of the suit.

Among others, Balasubra­ma­niam's family sought for general and special damages over losses, expenses and mental anguish when they were allegedly forced to live in a foreign land without the support of friends and relatives from July 2008 to March 2013, thus disrupting the schooling of three children.

Najib and eight others (including Deepak) succeeded in December last year to strike out the suit.

High Court Justice Hasnah Mohammed Hashim had ruled that the plaintiffs had no legal right to initiate the suit as there was no letter of administration of the estate of the deceased issued by any court.

Justice Hasnah also held that the facts raised by the plaintiffs were not clearly stated as to how, when and where the conspiracy by the defendants was done which could affect Balasubra­maniam then.

His widow A. Santamil Selvi and her three children sued nine people over the supposed conspiracy.

The nine defendants were Deepak, Najib's younger brothers Datuk Ahmad Johari Abdul Razak and Datuk Mohd Nazim Abdul Razak, senior lawyer Tan Sri Cecil Abraham, his son counsel Sunil Abraham, Commissioner of Oath Zainal Abidin Muhayat and lawyer M. Arulampalam.

In the amended statement of claim filed on June 23, the family said the deceased was hired by political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda, in the months of July and October 2006, to provide protection services because he (Abdul Razak) and his family were allegedly harassed by Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu who was later murdered. (A Shah Alam High Court freed Abdul Razak without calling for his defence on Oct 31, 2008, for a charge of abetting in the murder.)

Balasubramaniam, who died of a heart attack in March 2013, had released a statutory declaration on July 3, 2008, on matters related to Altantuya's murder trial.

Balasubramaniam, who was a witness in that murder trial, released another SD the next day to retract certain contents, saying he had been "compelled to affirm the first SD under duress".

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