Jockey wins suit over disqualification and fine

Jockey wins suit over disqualification and fine
Back on top: Lawyer K. Simon Murali congratulating Sandana outside the court.

GEORGE TOWN: A jockey who was disqualified for two years and fined RM70,000 (S$26,000) by the Malayan Racing Association (MRA) for allegedly throwing a race in 2012 has won his suit for loss of livelihood against the association.

High Court judge Justice Mohd Zaki Md Yasin ruled in favour of S. Sandana Kumar, 40, who had sued K. Krishna Kumar, 52, in the latter's capacity as the public officer of MRA, which is the regulatory body on horse racing in Malaysia and Singapore.

Mohd Zaki ordered for Sandana to be reinstated and declared that he is a professional jockey with a valid licence to participate in race events organised by the MRA. The judge also awarded Sandana RM20,000 in costs.

He also ruled that the decisions of the stipendiary stewards and racing stewards which disqualified Sandana for two years and fined him RM70,000 were null and void.

Mohd Zaki said the senior assistant registrar would be assessing the damages to be awarded to Sandana arising from loss of income.

Sandana had, during a hearing in April last year, testified that he had to exert control over his horse to avoid falling off during the race in question at the Penang Turf Club on May 6, 2012.

He said the racecourse was wet and muddy during the race and mud had splattered onto his left eye.

He denied that he had contravened the rule that he had to take reasonable measures throughout the race to ensure that his horse had full opportunity of winning or obtaining the best possible placing.

Sandana said he was taken to hospital after the race and later summoned to an inquiry convened by a panel of stipendiary stewards.

He said the inquiry on June 6 that year found him guilty of contravening the rule and disqualified him from riding for two years and fined him RM50,000.

Following his appeal, he said the racing stewards on Nov 22, 2012, maintained his two-year disqualification from June 6, 2012, and increased his fine to RM70,000.

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