Ex-MP Gobalakrishnan to pay RM150,000 for defaming ex-Bar president

Former Padang Serai MP N Gobalakrishnan (Bernama pic)

PETALING JAYA: Former Padang Serai MP N Gobalakrishnan has to pay RM150,000 in damages for defaming lawyer and former Malaysian Bar president Manjeet Singh Dhillon.

This follows today’s Federal Court decision to refuse Gobalakrishnan an extension of time to file his leave application to appeal a Court of Appeal ruling last year.

A three-member bench chaired by Azahar Mohamed struck out Gobalakrishnan’s motion to obtain leave based on two questions of law. The court also ordered Gobalakrishnan to pay RM5,000 in costs to Manjeet.

Lawyer Americk Sidhu, who represented Manjeet, said the damages included interest payments and costs awarded to his client in the High Court and Court of Appeal.

“We will now proceed to enforce judgment following today’s ruling.” he said.

Gobalakrishnan, who represented himself, said he accepted the decision and would pay costs.

Last year, the Court of Appeal affirmed the findings of the High Court against Gobalakrishnan and former Utusan Malaysia journalist Raja Syahrir Abu Bakar and Utusan Melayu (M) Berhad for defaming Manjeet.

In the High Court, Gobalakrishnan was ordered to pay RM150,000 in damages while the ex-journalist and the publisher were ordered to pay RM200,000.

The appellate court also ordered TV3 to pay RM200,000 in damages following an appeal by Manjeet.

Utusan Melayu has appealed against the ruling at the Federal Court but TV3 did not pursue the matter.

Gobalakrishnan had uttered the defamatory words in an interview during the murder trial of cosmetics millionaire Sosilawati Lawiya.

Manjeet filed a RM2.5 million suit on Sept 26, 2011, in which he named Gobalakrishnan, Raja Syahrir, Utusan Melayu and TV3 as defendants.