MIC: Appeal Court orders full trial of MIC- RoS case

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Putra Jaya
– The Court of Appeal today allowed an appeal by former MIC Batu Division Chairman K.Ramalingam and 7 others against the Kuala Lumpur High Court decision which struck out their conspiracy case against RoS.

The Court of Appeal also ordered full re-trial of the case to be heard in KL High Court by another Judge.

Background to MIC-RoS Conspiracy case

The High Court of Kuala Lumpur on 11 July 2016 allowed an application by MIC President Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam and five others and struck out the conspiracy case filed by K.Ramalingam and another 7 former MIC members.

Former MIC Batu Division Chairman, K. Ramalingam and seven former party members had filed the civil action on Feb 5, naming Dr S.Subramaniam, Datuk S. Vigneswaran, Datuk Jaspal Singh and Datuk T. Mohan, Datuk A. Sakthivel, lawyer A. Vasanthi, RoS director-general Mohammad Razin Abdullah and RoS officer-cum-investigator Akmal Yahya as defendants.

The plaintiffs were K.Ramalingam (pic-below), V. Ganesh, Datuk Henry Benedict Asirvatham, M. Sathiyamurthi, George Alexander Fernandez, R.M. Prabu, R. Sithambaram Pillay and Datuk M.V. Rajoo.

In their statement of claim, the plaintiffs were seeking a declaration that the defendants conspired together to improperly and unlawfully achieve their objectives to undermine the 2013 party election results and to wrest control of the top posts in MIC.

The case was fixed for trial but on 11 July 2016, the High Court heard the Defendants’ application to strike out the suit on grounds that it was “frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process”.

After hearing submissions from both sides, High Court judge Yeoh Wee Siam agreed with the Defendants’ application, striking out the case by Ramalingam and 7 others.

In striking out the Conspiracy case by Ramalingam and others, the court also ordered costs of RM 3000 to be paid by each of the Plaintiffs.

The Judge held that Ramalingam and 5 others failed to satisfy the court that they are members of MIC and from the evidence adduced it is clear that they are not members of MIC and therefore  have no locus standi to seek any relief as aggrieved members of MIC.

The Judge also held that the earlier decision by Justice Asmabi is valid as her decision was based on the finding that it was MIC who agreed to hold the 2013 re- election  by virtue of former MIC President Palanivel‘s 2 letters and therefore the allegations raised by Ramalingam and his group in this case would not have made any change to Justice Asmabi’s decision.

Court of Appeal Decision today (10 January 2017)

The Court of Appeal’s decision today is not based on the merits of the case but based on the dismissal of the case by the KL High Court on 11 July 2016, on grounds of preliminary objections. The Court of Appeal had ordered for re-trial today since in its opinion there were serious issues of allegations, which should have been heard in a full trial and not dismissed by virtue of preliminary objections.

The date for the full trial will have to be fixed by the High Court now and the whole legal process may take several more months before the final verdict is reached.

It is not known yet whether there will be further appeal to Federal Court against the Court of Appeal decision today.