Families of 2017 tahfiz school fire in KL file lawsuit against centre operators, Islamic council

PHOTO: The Star/Asia News Network

PETALING JAYA - The families of victims who died in the Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz fire in 2017 have filed a lawsuit against two operators of the centre and the Federal Territory Islamic Religious Council (MAIWP), according to Malaysiakini.

The news portal also reported on Tuesday (June 11) that 10 students who survived the fire were part of the 18 plaintiffs in the writ of summons filed by law firm M/s Mohaji, Hazury & Ismail at the High Court Registry in Kuala Lumpur on May 30.

Mohd Zahid Mahmood and Samsurini Mohd Anuwi, the first and second defendants, are the operators of the tahfiz centre.

MAIWP, the third defendant, is the registered owner of the two plots of land on which the centre was built when it caught fire at Kampung Datuk Keramat in Kuala Lumpur, on Sept 14, 2017.

Five plaintiffs - Mazzaini Muda, 49, Mudah Abd Gani, 56, Mashawani Mohamed, 39, Farawahida Wahid, 36, and Nasrun Mat Yusuf, 48 - are the parents of the students who perished in the fire.

Three other plaintiffs from Tumpat, Kelantan - Sakarno Talib, 58, Noriah Hamzah, 56, and Nur Fatihah Othman, 24 - who are the father, mother and wife of deceased uztaz Muhammad Amrul Nizam Sakarno, then 25, respectively.

The 10 students are Wan Muhammad Danish Hisham Wan Nor Hisham, 16, Muhamad Syahmin Che Azmi, 20, Adib Baqir Mohd Khalid, 16, Muhammad Syamim Naim Mohd Sa'ani, 17, Muhammad Izzarudin Roslan, 17, Muhammad Afiq Zulkafli, 13, Muhammad Ihsan Husin, 18, Arief Zamzuri Jamaluddin, 18, Zunnun Misri Nasrun, 17, and Indonesian Indra Kurniawan Abdullah (underage).

The plaintiffs are reportedly seeking a declaration that Mohd Zahid, Samsurini and MAIWP had been negligent in ensuring there were fire extinguishers and lighted exits at every building in the premises of the tahfiz centre, which violated their statutory duty under Section 225(1) and 227 of the Building (Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur) By-Laws 1985.

The plaintiffs also want a declaration that the three defendants had been negligent in ensuring that there were two exits at the dormitory premises, which violated their statutory duty under Section 166 of the same by-laws.

Among other declarations sought by the plaintiffs are that MAIWP did not take action against Mohd Zahid and Samsurini for purportedly carrying out renovations to the tahfiz centre building without the permission of the relevant authorities.

It was also reported that all 18 plaintiffs are seeking general, special, aggravated and exemplary damages, as well as damages for disabilities, injuries, trauma and emotional disturbance suffered by the survivors.

The five plaintiffs who are parents of students who died in the fire and Nur Fatihah, the wife of the deceased ustaz, are also seeking "bereavement" damages of RM20,000 (S$6,600) and a compensation of RM5,000 each for cost of burial and "kenduri tahlil".

Nur Fatihah is also seeking RM96,000 as damages for loss of dependency, while the deceased ustaz' parents, Sakarno and Noriah, are jointly seeking RM57,600 for loss of dependency.

Sakarno, Noriah and the 10 student survivors are also seeking damages for pain and suffering, as well as for nervous shock.

All the 18 plaintiffs are seeking interim relief that the cash donation of RM640,785.68 in an account at the CIMB Islamic Bank Bhd branch at Solaris, Mont Kiara be released to them.

All the plaintiffs also seek costs and other relief deemed fit by the court.

On Sept 16, 2017, seven youths, aged between 11 and 18, were arrested over the fire that killed 21 students and two wardens of Darul Quran Ittifaqiyah tahfiz.