PM and Wife Seek to Strike Out Suit by PI Bala’s Family

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Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor are seeking to strike out a suit filed by the family of the late private investigator P Balasubramaniam.

  • Bala’s widow is also suing seven others, including two of Najib’s brothers
  • She is seeking RM840k in damages for the 56 months the family moved to India due to the second statutory declaration Bala made on Altantuya’s murder
  • She alleged Bala was forced to withdraw the first statutory declaration
  • On Aug 23, the Shah Alam High Court allowed the Malaysian government’s application to strike out a RM100 million lawsuit by Altantuya’s family

Their counsel Nur Hazira Abu Hayyan said they filed the application to strike out the suit by the four plaintiffs: Balasubramaniam’s wife A Santamil Selvi and her three children – B Kishen, B Menaga and B Reeshi on Aug 10.

The plaintiffs had filed their suit against Najib, Rosmah and seven others claiming injury and loss of income.

In the statement of claim filed on Jul 13, the seven others named as defendants were Najib’s siblings – Datuk Ahmad Johari and Datuk Mohd Nazim, counsel Tan Sri Cecil Wilbert Mohanaraj Abraham and his son Sunil Abraham, commissioner of oaths Zainal Abidin Muhayat, carpet seller Deepak Jaikishan and counsel M Arulampalam.

The plaintiffs claimed that they had to move to India for 56 months from Jul 4, 2008, until Balasubramaniam died on Mar 15, 2013, due to the second statutory declaration made by the private investigator in relation to the murder of the Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu.

She alleged that her late husband was forced to withdraw the first statutory declaration made on Jul 1, 2008, on certain facts on the murder of Altantuya.

She sought RM840,000 in damages, including rental of an apartment in Chennai, India, her children’s school fees and the loss of income as a kindergarten teacher, housing loan, transportation cost, general and special damages, and costs.

Santamil filed the action in her personal capacity and on behalf of the estate of Balasubramaniam.

After meeting High Court judge Justice Hue Siew Kheng in chambers, Nur Hazira said Najib and Rosmah filed the application to strike out the suit on the grounds that the plaintiffs have no locus standi to initiate the lawsuit, no reasonable cause of action and that the suit is frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of court process.

Meanwhile, Santamil Selvi’s counsel Americk Sidhu said that the defendants have also applied to disqualify him as he had recused himself from representing the family in the previous suit filed on Jun 23, 2014, at the Court of Appeal. He added that the court fixed Sept 26 for the hearing of an application to disqualify him.

On Aug 23, the Shah Alam High Court allowed the Malaysian government’s application to strike out a RM100 million lawsuit filed by Altantuya’s family.

Justice Ahmad Nasfy Yasin said he found that the plaintiffs had no reasonable cause of action. He also ordered Altantuya’s father Shaaribuu Setev and three others to pay the government RM1,000 in costs.

Lawyer Ramkarpal Singh, who represented family members of Altantuya, said the reason advanced by the judge in allowing the government’s application was most disappointing.

He added that he would file an appeal against the decision in the Court of Appeal on behalf of the family.

He said the suit against three other defendants – Sirul Azhar Umar, Azilah Hadri and political analyst Abdul Razak Baginda – would proceed. The court fixed the case for mention on Nov 23.

The government, in its affidavit, said the plaintiffs had failed to plead that it was vicariously liable for the action of two policemen, Sirul and Azilah, convicted of killing Altantuya.

Shaariibuu had filed an affidavit in reply, citing that the claim, first filed on Jun 6, 2007, had basis and merit and that the Malaysian government was liable as it was the employer of the policemen.

Related report: Jun 23, Government’s Attempt to Remove RM100M Suit by Altantuya’s Family