Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Uthayakumar's defamation suit dismissed

The Court of Appeal has struck out Hindraf legal advisor P Uthayakumar's defamation suit against the former inspector-general of police (IGP) and attorney-general over their claims that he has links with terrorist organisations.

NONEIn a 2-1 decision, the three-member bench ruled that the statements by the two respondents were directed at Hindraf, and not at Uthayakumar (left in photo).

In addition, the court ruled that Hindraf has been declared an illegal organisation and it has no locus standi to pursue legal action.

Justice KN Segara pointed to two news reports published on Dec 7, 2007 before Uthayakumar's arrest under the Internal Security Act (ISA) six days later.

"It is blatantly clear that the alleged defamatory statements were not directed at him (plaintiff)," said Segara.

Justice Abdul Aziz Abdul Rahim agreed with his view.

Dissenting judge Justice Hishamudin Mohd Yunus said a subsequent statement published by Star on Dec 15 had quoted then IGP Musa Hassan as referring to Uthayakumar as having links to terrorist organisations.

"The IGP was referring to the plaintiff and four others detained under the ISA," he noted.

Hishamudin added that he was not satisfied that the plaintiff's statement of claim was not sustainable, as ruled by the majority decision.

"The plaintiff ought to be given his day in the High Court to give evidence," he said.

Uthayakumar's counsel M Manoharan praised Hishamudin for his dissenting judgment.

"In view of this, we will appeal to the Federal Court," he told reporters outside the court.

read more