Former PKR vice-president Zuraida Kamaruddin has been ordered by the Kuala Lumpur High Court today to pay RM10 million to PKR for breaching the bond binding her to the party.
Judge Akhtar Tahir allowed PKR's suit after finding that the bond was a valid and binding contract.
The court also ordered Zuraida to pay RM50,000 in costs.
The suit was filed by PKR secretary-general Saifuddin Nasution Ismail on Sept 28, 2020, to claim RM10 million from Zuraida for allegedly breaching the bond binding her to the party.
PKR's statement of claim said that Zuraida had signed the bond of RM10 million based on the terms and conditions set.
Judge Akhtar who delivered the court's decision in an online proceeding, said Zuraida's contention that she signed the bond under duress or coercion was baseless.
"The evidence shows she signed the bond with full knowledge of the contents and signed it voluntarily as she wanted to contest the election on PKR's ticket," he said.
The judge further said Zuraida's allegation that the sum of RM10 million was disproportionate to the sum spent on the candidacy is baseless and an afterthought.
"The defendant (Zuraida) herself had acknowledged that the plaintiff had spent an amount exceeding RM10 million on the candidacy.
"This is a clear admission on the part of the defendant that she cannot retract. The court further rules that the RM10 million is a reasonable sum as the bond is to deter members, especially chosen candidates, to act against the interest of the party at the time of the election," he added.
Judge Akhtar further said the plaintiff (PKR) had produced ample evidence of the termination of the defendant's membership by the central committee of the plaintiff.
The judge also said the RM10 million was not disproportionate but reasonable to act as a deterrence to prevent party members from acting against the party's interests.
"A lesser sum would not act as such a deterrence," the judge said.
Judge Akhtar said the court noted that the defendant had promised to pay the sum of RM10 million if she was terminated from the party.
"The court finds the bond was a valid agreement that binds the defendant to pay the RM10 million as promised on her membership being terminated," he said adding that the reputation of a membership of the defendant was caused by the defendant's own misconduct.
Therefore, the court allows the plaintiff's claim for the sum of RM10 million against the defendant with the cost of RM50,000 to be paid by the defendant to the plaintiff, the judge said.
Zuraida was represented by lawyer Muhammad Nizamuddin Abdul Hamid, while PKR was represented by lawyer Navpreet Singh.
Meanwhile, Muhammad Nizamuddin told Bernama that they will file an appeal against today's decision to the Court of Appeal.