Najib, Rosmah and six others succeed in bid to strike out second lawsuit by PI Bala’s widow

(Bernama) – Former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak, wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and six others succeeded in their appeals to strike out the second lawsuit filed against them by the widow of the late private investigator P. Balasubramaniam.

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 the eight appellants.

Apart from Najib and Rosmah, the other six appellants were Najib’s brothers Datuk Mohd Nazim, Datuk Ahmad Johari, lawyers Tan Sri Cecil Abraham and Sunil Abraham, lawyer Arulampalam Mariampillai and commissioner for oaths, Zainal Abidin Muhayat.

Tengku Maimun, who chaired the bench, held that A. Santamil Selvi had filed the suit out of time, which was more than the six years timeframe.

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

Tengku Maimun 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.

She ordered Santamil Selvi to pay RM4,000 in costs to each of the appellants for court proceedings at the High Court and Court of Appeal.

On July 23, last year, 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 same the eight appellants 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 appellants had deprived her family of a normal life, and caused them to suffer financial and non-financial losses.

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

In June 2014, Santamil Selvi had filed a conspiracy suit against Najib, Rosmah, Najib’s brothers Mohd Nazim and Johari, lawyers 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.

Lawyer Datuk Wira Mohd Hafarizam Harun represented Najib and Rosmah, while Najib’s brothers Ahmad Johari and Mohd Nazim wwere respectively represented by lawyers Dhinesh Bhaskaran and B. Thangaraj.

Lawyer Satharuban Sivasubramaniam appeared for Zainal Abidin, lawyer Chong Ian Shin for Arulampalam, while a team of lawyers led by Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram represented Santamil Selvi.