Johor developer gets Federal Court leave to appeal against compensation

The Federal Court says the developer of a mega project in Johor had crossed the threshold to have the merit of its appeal heard.

PETALING JAYA: The developer of a mega project in Johor has obtained leave from the Federal Court to appeal against compensation for a Singaporean house buyer who was delivered a condominium without a sheltered balcony.

A three-member bench chaired by Rohana Yusof said Country Garden Danga Bay Sdn Bhd (CGDB), the developer of the Danga Bay project, had crossed the threshold under Section 96 of the Courts Judicature Act to have the merit of the appeal heard.

A civil appeal to the apex court is not automatic. An applicant needs to raise novel questions of law of public advantage or constitutional issues.

However, the bench, which included judges Mohamed Zawawi Salleh and Zabariah Mohd Yusof, only allowed leave on four of the 13 questions framed.

Lawyers Cyrus Das and Leonard Yeoh appeared for the developer, and VL Lettice De Cruz for the purchaser, Ho Chee Kian.

On Dec 11 last year, a three-member Court of Appeal bench chaired by Kamardin Hashim dismissed CGDB’s appeal after ruling that it had no merit.

The housing tribunal in Johor Bahru awarded Ho compensation of RM50,000 in 2018 after he claimed that several pages in the sale and purchase agreement he signed on Aug 23, 2013, were later changed by CGDB without his knowledge.

Ho said he was given a stamped copy of the document and alleged that it contained significant differences from the original.

As a result, he said, he was handed the keys to a RM1.6 million condominium unit which he had not agreed to buy in November 2017.

CGDB applied for a judicial review, naming Ho and the tribunal as respondents. However, its application was dismissed.

On Dec 27, 2018, High Court judge Mohd Ivan Hussien said there should have been no amendments once the plans were approved and sales had begun as there were no clauses allowing for changes.

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