Friday, October 22, 2021

Appeals court dismisses businessman’s bid to reinstate suit against Najib, Rosmah and Baling MP

The Court of Appeal upholds the earlier High Court decision allowing an application by the three to strike out the suit.

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Carpet Raya Sdn Bhd director JR Deepak Jaikishan and two others today failed to reinstate a suit against former prime minister Najib Razak, his wife Rosmah Mansor, and Baling MP Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim over taxes incurred for allegedly acting as proxies for the couple.

This was after the Court of Appeal dismissed their appeal to quash the High Court’s decision in allowing an application by Najib, Rosmah and Azeez to strike out the suit.

Justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, who led a three-man bench in a unanimous decision, said the suit brought by Deepak, Carpet Raya and Deepak’s younger brother J Rajesh, who is also a director of the company, was obviously unsustainable and bound to fail if it were to proceed to trial.

“We find that the High Court judicial commissioner was correct in finding that the suit was a plain and obvious case for striking out.

“Hence, we find no merit in the appeal and the appeal is hereby dismissed with costs of RM10,000 for Najib and Rosmah and RM10,000 for Azeez,” Zabidin said.

The other two judges were Azizah Nawawi and S Nantha Balan.

The panel made the ruling after hearing submissions from counsel Daniel Annamalai, representing the appellants, David Mathews, who appeared for Najib and Rosmah, and Prem Ramchandran for Azeez.

On July 16 last year, the Kuala Lumpur High Court allowed an application by Najib, Rosmah and Azeez to strike out the suit after finding that the statement of claim did not disclose a reasonable cause of action as the essential elements to sustain the claims for conspiracy to injure, misfeasance in public office and breach of duty of care.

The trio filed the application on Sept 24, 2019, on grounds that the suit was vexatious and the plaintiffs had no cause to sue them.

In the suit filed on Nov 15, 2018, Deepak claimed that between 2004 and 2010, he and the company had acted as an agent and proxy for Najib and Rosmah in land transactions and business deals as instructed by the couple.

He also claimed that Azeez had acted as an agent for Najib and Rosmah in carrying out transactions and had acted as an intermediary between the couple and Carpet Raya.

Deepak claimed that as a result of the transactions, he received a letter from the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) dated March 2, 2018, to settle arrears in taxes owed by Carpet Raya, as well as his income tax, totalling more than RM6 million, excluding penalty charges and interests.

Deepak claimed that he received the letter from LHDN after his relations with the couple soured in 2012 following his refusal to follow their instructions in a civil case involving private investigator P Balasubramaniam, claiming also that Azeez had knowledge of the matter.

They contended that Najib and Rosmah also ordered legal action to be taken by LHDN against Carpet Raya, and a winding-up petition was filed against the company on March 22, 2017, by the LHDN and published in newspapers.

They claimed that as a result of the petition, the business and reputation of the plaintiffs were affected and that Deepak was also banned from leaving the country, while their business facilities were withdrawn by MayBank and the company’s contract with Ikea was cancelled.

They sought a court declaration that Najib and Rosmah were responsible for paying the tax arrears owed by the company and damages of RM500,000 to MayBank, RM47 million for the company’s inability to fulfil its contract and sales, RM74 million for cancellation of the company’s contract with Ikea, RM200 million for alleged defamation and RM37 million in losses caused by Najib’s alleged misconduct.

They also sought RM100 million in aggravated and exemplary damages.

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