Widow of PI Bala allowed to start contempt proceedings against Shafee, 2 others

A Santamil Selvi, widow of private investigator P Balasubramaniam. (Youtube pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: The widow of late private investigator P Balasubramaniam, better known as PI Bala, has obtained leave from the High Court to begin contempt proceedings against lawyer Muhammad Shafee Abdullah, Baling MP Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim and a medical doctor.

Lawyer Americk Sidhu, representing A Santamil Selvi, said judge Azimah Omar has given the green light to commit the three to prison for disrespecting the court.

“We will file the necessary papers to begin contempt proceedings against the three respondents,” he told reporters after getting the ex-parte order from the judge’s chambers.

Shafee, Azeez and Dr S Ganesanathan can either set aside the leave application obtained by Santamil Selvi or contest the allegations of contempt of court.

Santamil filed the application on Oct 31 last year, claiming that the three respondents had stopped businessman Deepak Jaikishan from being cross-examined on an affidavit which he filed together with the defence statement in her suit.

She claimed that Shafee, who represented Deepak in the case, had intentionally and falsely informed the court that Deepak was unable to attend court as he was sick.

A copy of Deepak’s medical report, issued by a government hospital, was submitted to the court.

The proceeding, which was supposed to be heard by justice Hue Siew Kheng who is now retired on March 19 last year, was postponed to March 27 and again to April 13 after Shafee produced the medical report, issued by Ganesanathan.

Santamil also claimed that Deepak had made a police report saying Shafee, Azeez and the doctor had conspired to prevent him from attending the court proceedings by producing a false medical report.

In the affidavit filed together with the application, she claimed Deepak was prevented from attending the court proceedings as part of an attempt to prevent him from telling the truth about the involvement of former prime minister Najib Razak, who is named as a defendant in her suit.

In her statement of claim, Santamil and her three children – Kishen, Menaga and Reeshi – claimed they had to move to India following the second statutory declaration made by Bala over the murder of the Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibuu. They said they had stayed in India for 56 months from July 4, 2008.

They are seeking RM840,000 in damages, including for the rental of an apartment in Chennai, India, school fees and the loss of income as a kindergarten teacher, as well as housing loan, transportation cost, general and special damages and costs.

Bala was the key witness in the murder trial of Altantuya in 2006.

He died of a heart attack on March 15, 2013, a few weeks after returning from India.