Anwar ordered to pay Nalla RM20,000, court decides case has ‘triable issues’


( – The Federal Court here today decided that Senator S Nallakaruppan’s case alleging Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim of bribery should go to trial.

The five-person panel lead by Chief Justice of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinuddin over turned an earlier High Court decision in August 2013 which struck out Nallakaruppan’s defence.

“Striking out is only for plain and obvious matters,” said Zulkefli Ahmad. The court also ordered Anwar to pay RM20,000 in cost to Nallakaruppan.

Elaborating on the decision, Nallakaruppan’s lawyer Tan Sri Muhammad Shafee Abdullah said the panel found there to be matters which are contestable for a trial process in court.

“There are triable issues in the defence,” he told reporters.

During submissions today, Muhammad Shafee argued that it’s not the case where Nallakaruppan was not “willing to provide the facts” but rather “was simply unable to give (facts)” as the incident occurred almost nine years ago.

He had also requested for damages amounting to RM100,000 to be paid to Nallakaruppan.

Muhammad Shafee also argued that due to the “fragility of the human memory”, his client could not remember the exact amount or time. He also argued that it was “naive” of the Court of Appeal to demand for receipts of the transaction.

“The transaction happened in various stages. This is “back-alley” payment. There is naivety of the Appeal Court when they asked for audited statements or accounts. Back-alley payments are never captured,” he said.

He argued that Nallakaruppan should be called to his defence as there was a difference between primary facts and evidence. He said that Nallakaruppan would be able to provide these primary facts to the court in his defence.

Zulkefli Ahmad was also one of the members in the five-person Court of Appeal panel which granted a stay to Nallakaruppan last year.

Anwar’s counsel, R Sivarasa argued that Nallakaruppan was not consistent in his allegations.

“First he said that the money transferred through his own hands. Later he changed his statement saying that it was delivered.

“This is a huge sum of money. So we just know (how the transaction occurred),” he argued.

Tan Sri Suriyadi Halim Omar, Datuk Hasan Lah, Datin Paduka Zaleha Zahari and Datuk Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha were the other four members in the panel today.

On June 19,2012 High Court Judge Su Geok Yiam ruled that Nallakaruppan is liable for making defamatory statements in 2008 against the PKR leader. The decision was reached after Su allowed Anwar’s application to strike out Nallakaruppan’s defence.

The basis for Anwar’s application then was that Nallakaruppan had failed to furnish better and further particulars in his allegations, which was directed by a court order issued on Aug 28, 2009. The High Court also ruled that Nallakaruppan should pay damages to Anwar which will be assessed by the deputy registrar.

Nallakarupan who is president of the Malaysian Indian United Party (MUIP), allegedly made the statements in an article entitled “Anwar terima RM60 juta” (Anwar receives RM60 million) which was carried by some local dailies.

On August 1 last year, a five-person panel lead by Tan Sri Md Raus Sharif granted leave to Nallakaruppan to appeal the High Court’s decision to the Federal Court. Justice Zaleha was also part of the panel which granted this stay order. The other judges on the panel were Chief Judge of Sabah and Sarawak Tan Sri Richard Malanjum and Federal Court judges Tan Sri Ahmad Maarop.