LHDN fails to obtain summary judgement in suit against Najib’s daughter

(FMT) – The Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) today failed in its bid for a summary judgement in its suit to recover RM10.3 million in unpaid income tax from Najib Razak’s daughter Nooryana Najwa.

This was after Shah Alam High Court judge Faizah Jamaludin dismissed LHDN’s application, ruling that the officer who deposed the affidavit in support of the government’s application did not state in the affidavit her belief that Nooryana “has no defence” to the government’s claim to tax due and payable contrary.

The judge also found the certificate exhibited by the government as proof of the amount of tax due and payable was not signed by the LDHN director-general as required under Section 142 of the Income Tax Act 1967.

“There is no evidence before this court that the person who signed the certificate was either an officer appointed to exercise any function of the director-general ‘in writing under his hand’ pursuant to Section 136 (5) of the act to sign the certificate on his behalf.

“A certificate signed by LHDN’s ketua penolong pengarah, cawangan guaman Kuala Lumpur, without any evidence that she has been appointed to exercise any function of the director-general under the Income Tax Act 1967 or was authorised in writing to sign the certificate on his behalf, is not sufficient evidence of the amount of tax due.

“The certificate is also not sufficient authority for this court to give judgement on tax due and payable from the defendant,” she said.

A summary judgement is where a court decides a case without hearing the testimony of witnesses.

Faizah however stressed that the court’s decision to dismiss the government’s application for a summary judgement was not a decision on the merits of the plaintiff’s claim as to the amount of tax due and payable by the defendant in the years 2011 to 2017.

“It is also not a decision on the merits of the defendant’s claim that the tax assessments are without basis and/or grossly inaccurate.

“The veracity of the tax assessments and the merits of the defendant’s defence are questions of facts to be determined by the special commissioners of income tax at the hearing of the defendant’s appeal against the assessments,” she said.

The court has fixed Sept 8 for case management for LHDN to update the court on whether it will appeal against the decision.

Senior revenue counsel Norhisham Ahmad and Al-Hummidallah Idrus appeared for LHDN while Nooryana was represented by lawyers Wee Yeong Kang and Muhammad Farhan Muhammad Shafee.

On July 24 last year, the government as the plaintiff filed a writ of summons and statement of claim through LHDN, naming Nooryana, 32, as the defendant.

According to the statement of claim, the plaintiff alleged that Nooryana failed to submit her individual income tax return forms to LHDN, under Section 77 of the Income Tax Act 1967, for the years of assessment from 2011 to 2017.

LHDN contended that to date, the defendant had not paid the amount of income tax owed including the increases, worth a total of RM10,335,292.36.

The plaintiff is seeking from the defendant a sum of RM10,335,292.36, interest on this sum at a rate of 5% per annum from the date of judgement to the date of realisation, costs, and other relief deemed appropriate by the court.