KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court here has awarded RM150,000 in damages to a pilot and his wife in a defamation suit brought by them against former Padang Serai MP N Gobalakrishnan.
Judicial commissioner Raja Ahmad Mohzanuddin Shah Raja Mohzan said S Selva Kumar and R Indrani had successfully proved that Gobalakrishnan had defamed the couple on three occasions.
The defamatory statements were contained in two picture messages and one voice message which Gobalakrishnan had published through WhatsApp on June 4, 2019.
“All three publications are defamatory of the plaintiffs and made without any basis,” Raja Ahmad Mohzanuddin said in his ruling.
The couple brought the suit against Gobalakrishnan on Nov 7, 2019.
In the first picture message, the former MP was found to have defamed the couple by calling them “gold diggers” and accusing them of cheating several businessmen who, he claimed, had lodged police reports against them.
Gobalakrishnan was also found to have wrongfully published a second defamatory picture message accusing Indrani of cheating several businessmen.
In the message, he had claimed that the wife of a Tan Sri had lodged a police report against Indrani and had also warned other women to take care of their husbands.
In the voice message, Gobalakrishnan had libelled Indrani by accusing her of going after seven people, which allegedly led to a former minister’s wife lodging a police report against her.
Raja Ahmad Mohzanuddin ordered Gobalakrishnan to pay RM50,000 to Selva Kumar, a captain with Malaysia Airlines, and RM100,000 to Indrani, a former treasurer at PKR’s Sungai Siput branch.
The couple, represented by Rueben Mathiavaranam and Sumita Balasubramaniam, were also awarded RM40,000 in costs.
Raja Ahmad Mohzanuddin also dismissed Gobalakrishnan’s counterclaim against the couple for lack of evidence.
In his counterclaim, Gobalakrishnan claimed that Indrani had defamed him in a voice message she had put out on Sept 30, 2020.
Gobalakrishnan was represented by Shamsul Nizam and Nur Izzatul Amirah Zawawi.