The Court of Appeal today ordered businessman JR Deepak Jaikishan, his brother and their company to pay a total of RM40,000 in costs as a result of their lawyers discharging themselves from representing them in the appeals over a lawsuit filed against Najib Razak, his wife and three others.
A three-member bench led by justice Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah awarded costs of RM10,000 to each respondent considering that the change of lawyers was made at the eleventh hour and that it was the second time they had sought to change lawyers.
Zabidin said in view of the fact that Deepak’s lawyers had been discharged and the appeals had to be postponed, costs of RM10,000 to each respondent were appropriate, namely to former prime minister Najib and Rosmah Mansor, former Tabung Haji chairman Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim, Najib’s brother Ahmad Johari Abdul Razak and his former principal private secretary Shukry Mohd Salleh.
The other two judges presiding on the bench were Abu Bakar Jais and Che Mohd Ruzima Ghazali.
Earlier, Zabidin allowed lawyer Magita Hari Mogan’s application for a discharge from acting for Deepak, his bother J Rajesh and their company Radiant Splendour Sdn Bhd in the four appeals.
She told the court that the discharge order was filed on Nov 26, citing a failure to obtain any instructions from her clients.
Najib and Rosmah’s lawyer David Matthews as well as lawyer Dhinesh Bhaskaran representing Johari, lawyer Porres Royan appearing for Azeez and lawyer Farah Shuhadah Razali for Shukry sought RM10,000 in costs after Magita informed the court of the filing of the discharge order.
Zabidin then directed for the case to be sent for case management before the appellate court’s deputy registrar today, who fixed Dec 14 for another case management.
The appellants – Deepak, Rajesh and Radiant Splendour – were appealing against the High Court’s decision on Jan 14 last year striking out their lawsuit against the respondents.
In the suit, the appellants sought general, exemplary and aggravated damages, alleging a conspiracy that had led to the two brothers and their company suffering losses.
They also claimed that the respondents had committed tort of conspiracy, fraud, malfeasance and abuse of process.