Friday, October 9, 2009

Pahang MB need not pay RM63mil to logging company: Court

PUTRAJAYA: Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob need not pay the judgement debt of RM63mil to logging company Seruan Gemilang Makmur Sdn Bhd for breach of agreement, the Court of Appeal ruled.

Justice Datin Paduka Zaleha Zahari, who sat with Datuk Sulaiman Daud and Datuk Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha, held that Adnan was wrongly named as the respondent in the judicial review proceeding at the High Court, initiated by Seruan Gemilang, to demand the judgment sum from the state government.

“We allow the appeal with costs, on the principal ground that a wrong entity was named as the respondent in the judicial review proceeding,” Zaleha said in her oral decision Friday.

However, the sum of RM63mil owed to Seruan Gemilang would still need to be paid as the decision would not affect the main judgement ordering the Pahang government to pay RM63mil made by the High Court in 2007, the court held.

Karpal Singh, for Seruan Gemilang, told the media later that he would file for leave to appeal against the Appeal Court’s decision next week, and would issue a fresh certificate to demand debt payment from the Pahang financial officer.

On April 20 this year, Adnan appealed against the Kuantan High Court’s decision, ordering him to pay RM63mil to Seruan Gemilang after allowing the company’s application for a writ of mandamus (compelling order).

Seruan Gemilang filed the mandamus application last year, saying that it had demanded the judgement sum with interest, through a solicitor’s letter, and had furnished an endorsement letter under Section 33 of the Government Proceedings Act 1956, but did not receive any payment.

On May 25, 2007, the Pahang Government was ordered by the Kuantan High Court to pay the company RM37,127,471.60, at eight percent interest per annum from Dec 31, 2000.

Seruan Gemilang filed the suit against the state government and the state forestry director on Dec 2, 2002, seeking RM31 million in damages for breaching a logging concession contract relating to the extraction of timber logs from a 10,000acre plot of land belonging to Umno in Mukim Bebar, Pekan district.

In their statement of defence, the defendants said that Seruan Gemilang was only given a licence to log 7,000 acres because they found that the company was not interested in logging the remaining 3,000 acres.

Counsel Datuk Shafee Abdullah and state legal adviser Datuk Mat Zara’ai Alias acted for Adnan. - Bernama

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