Former prime minister Najib Razak and his son Nazifuddin were today allowed to defer the payment of tax arrears amounting to RM1.69 billion and RM37.6 million respectively to the Inland Revenue Board (LHDN) after the Court of Appeal granted their applications for a stay of execution pending the hearing of their bid for leave to appeal.
A three-man bench led by Azizah Nawawi made a unanimous decision after ruling that special circumstances existed for the postponement, Utusan Malaysia reported.
The other two judges on the bench were justices M Gunalan and Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali.
“This is our unanimous decision. We find that there are special circumstances that warrant us to exercise our discretion to allow an interim stay of the execution of summary judgment in both applications until the hearing of the leave application in the Federal Court,” Azizah was reported as saying by Bernama.
Najib and Nazifuddin had filed the stay of execution applications on the summary judgment obtained against them by LHDN, allowed by the High Court and affirmed by the Court of Appeal on Sept 9.
On the same day, a three-member Court of Appeal panel allowed an interim stay application brought by Najib and Nazifuddin on condition that they file their notice of motion and stay application by that week.
A summary judgment is when the court decides a particular case summarily, without calling witnesses to testify in a trial.
The duo had appealed to the Court of Appeal against two previous High Court rulings.
On July 22 last year, High Court judge Ahmad Bache allowed LHDN’s application for a summary judgment to be entered against Najib in its suit to recover the RM1.69 billion in taxes from the latter for the period between 2011 and 2017.
As for Nazifuddin, High Court judge Ahmad Zaidi Ibrahim on July 6 last year ordered him to pay LHDN RM37.6 million in unpaid taxes after allowing the board’s application to enter a summary judgment against him in its tax arrears suit seeking to recover the unpaid amount from between 2011 and 2017.
On Feb 4 this year, LHDN issued a bankruptcy notice against Najib for his failure to pay the amount as the summary judgment was not stayed. Nazifuddin was also served with a bankruptcy notice on April 30 this year over failure to pay the amount as ordered by the High Court.
Najib and Nazifuddin subsequently filed separate notices of motion on Sept 14 this year to the Federal Court seeking leave to appeal against the Court of Appeal’s decision in dismissing their appeals and asking the Federal Court to determine nine legal questions.