PI Bala suit: Deepak wants judge to be disqualified

Deepak Jaikishan is among nine defendants being sued by the late private investigator P Balasubramaniam’s widow Santamil Selvi.

PETALING JAYA: In an unexpected turn of events, businessman Deepak Jaikishan has filed an application to disqualify a High Court judge from hearing any matter relating to a suit filed by the widow of private investigator P Balasubramaniam.

Deepak, who did not turn up to testify on two previous occasions, was to scheduled to appear at the hearing tomorrow.

On March 27, Justice Hue Siew Kheng had set the date for Deepak to be present in court to be questioned by lawyers for Balasubramiam’s widow, A Santamil Selvi, about the filing of two conflicting defences in relation to the tort of causing intentional harm.

Deepak had not turned up, on medical grounds, at two previous hearings.

According to court papers filed in court yesterday, the recusal applications was made as the judge had refused to annul the suit that A Santamil Selvi had brought against nine defendants, including Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor.

Santamil Selvi’s suit, filed last August, claims damages because the family had allegedly been forced to leave Malaysia in 2008, after Balasubramaniam had been involved in sworn statements regarding the Altantuya Shaaribu murder case.

Justice Hue had also wanted to hear an application by Santamil Selvi to question the authority of legal firm Shafee & Co to act for Deepak.

Deepak said in his affidavit of support for the recusal application that the judge had given him short notice to file his defence and declined to strike out the suit by the widow and her children.

Further, he said, the judge had also displayed a lack of sympathy when he was on medical leave from March 19-27.

Lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah has also affirmed an affidavit in support of Deepak’s application.

Deepak filed his first defence on Oct 25 and it was served on lawyer Americk Sidhu, who first represented the widow and the children.

Subsequently, Shafee, who was listed to appear for Deepak, filed the second defence.

Deepak’s first defence stated that Prime Minister Najib Razak and his wife, Rosmah Mansor, had orchestrated the plaintiff’s exile to India in 2008.

However, the latest defence absolved the couple of any wrongdoing.

Americk had said the defence’s two statements were “diametrically opposed” in material particulars.

Santamil Selvi and her children have named Najib, Rosmah, Najib’s brothers Mohd Nazim and Johari, lawyers Sunil Abraham, Cecil Abraham and Arulampalam Mariampillai, commissioner for oaths Zainal Abidin Muhayat and Deepak as parties to her action.

She contended that the defendants had deprived her family of a normal life and caused them to suffer financial and non-financial losses.

Santamil Selvi, together with her two children, Kishen and Menaga, are seeking damages, with interest, for losses suffered from July 2008 as a result of their five-year displacement.



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