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Apex court throws out second lawsuit by PI Bala’s widow against Najib, Rosmah, six others

Putrajaya – The widow of the late private investigator P. Balasubramaniam has failed in her bid to reinstate a second legal suit against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and six others.

The Federal Court today dismissed A. Santamil Selvi’s application for leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s ruling which had struck out her lawsuit.

A three-member Federal Court bench chaired by Tan Sri Rohana Yusuf made the ruling after hearing submissions via video conferencing due to the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO).

The other two judges were Datuk Harmindar Singh Dhaliwal and Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang.

Najib and Rosmah’s lawyer, Datuk Mohd Hafarizam Harun, when contacted, said the leave to appeal to Federal Court was dismissed with no order as to costs.

On July 25, 2018, a three-man bench of the Court of Appeal, comprising justices Datuk Tengku Maimun Tuan Mat, Datuk Suraya Othman and Datuk Stephen Chung Hian Guan, allowed the appeals brought by Najib, Rosmah and six others to strike out the second lawsuit filed against them by Santamil Selvi.

The six others were Najib’s brothers Datuk Mohd Nazim, Datuk Ahmad Johari; lawyers Tan Sri Cecil Abraham, Sunil Abraham and Arulampalam Mariampillai; and commissioner of oaths Zainal Abidin Muhayat.

Justice Tengku Maimun, who chaired the bench, held that Santamil Selvi had filed the suit after the six-year limitation period.

“We are of the view that the filing of the second suit based on the same facts and parties after the first suit had been struck out, is an abuse of the court process,” she said.

She said the court could not accept Santamil Selvi’s contention that she could not file the suit earlier because she and her family were out of the country.

On July 23, 2017, Santamil Selvi and her three children – B. Kishen, B.Menaga and B.Reeshi – filed the second lawsuit on behalf of her late husband against the eight, whom she had also named as defendants in her previous suit, alleging that they suffered intentional harm as a result of their exile in India.

Santamil Selvi and her children, who sought damages with interest, had claimed that the defendants had deprived her family of a normal life and caused them to suffer financial and non-financial losses.

On Jan 30, 2018, the Kuala Lumpur High Court rejected the applications by the eight defendants to strike out the second lawsuit filed by Santamil Selvi.

In June 2014, Santamil Selvi had filed a conspiracy suit against Najib, Rosmah, Mohd Nazim, Johari, Sunil, Cecil, Arulampalam, Zainal Abidin and businessman Deepak Jaikishan.

Except for Deepak, Santamil Selvi’s suit against the other eight of them were struck out by the High Court in 2014 and affirmed by the Court of Appeal and Federal Court in 2015.

Balasubramaniam, better known as PI Bala, was a key witness in the trial of Mongolian woman Altantuya Shaariibuu. He died of a heart attack on March 15, 2013, weeks after returning from India. – Bernama

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