PKR MP ordered to pay RM80,000 to ex-aide for defamation

PKR MP ordered to pay RM80,000 to ex-aide for defamation

PKR MP ordered to pay RM80,000 to ex-aide for defamation
Sungai Siput MP S Kesavan was also ordered to pay RM20,000 in costs to his former officer.

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal has ordered Sungai Siput MP S Kesavan to pay RM80,000 in damages to his former parliamentary research officer after he was found liable for defaming her.

Justice Kamaludin Said, who chaired a three-member bench, said R Indrani had proven her case on the balance of probabilities.

“All the elements in a defamation suit have been satisfied,” he said in allowing her appeal with costs of RM20,000 today.

Justices Hashim Hamzah and Collin Lawrence Sequerah were also on the bench.

Kamaludin said the trial judge had also fallen into error by making a finding that Indrani and Kesavan were involved in dishonourable conduct without allowing the parties to make submissions on this point.


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Earlier, counsel Rueben Mathiavaranam, who appeared for Indrani, submitted that the trial judge also failed to determine whether Kesavan was liable for defamation when the defendant opted to take the stand that he had no case to answer.

Rueben said the trial judge had acted beyond her jurisdiction by unilaterally concluding that the plaintiff and defendant were involved in an extra-marital affair since the pleadings in the case did not allude to one.

“She had taken irrelevant matters into consideration and disregarded all other relevant matters in arriving at her decision, ” he submitted.

Rueben told the bench that although Indrani was not named specifically, several “connecting factors” would lead people to identify her as the subject of the statements Kesavan put out. This included the fact that she was the treasurer of the PKR Sungai Siput branch, was married with two children, and lived in Puchong.

He also said the evidence showed that the defamatory remarks were published to third parties.


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Azhar Arman Ali, who represented Kesavan, had contended that Indrani was not a credible witness. He said she had failed to show that the statements referred to her. In any event, he said, the statements were true and, therefore, justified.

Indrani filed the suit after Kesavan made remarks about her at a news conference held on May 18, 2019, which were also published on a news portal and which he subsequently posted on Facebook.

She claimed the statements suggested that she was unchaste, flirtatious towards the defendant, and a homewrecker.

The trial judge dismissed Indrani’s suit last year, expressing displeasure at the courts being used to wash dirty linen in public.

She said she could not accept immoral behaviour nor the couple’s attempt to “muddy the walls and floor of (the) court” with their disingenuous and deceptive attitude and their involvement in an inappropriate extramarital affair.

PKR MP ordered to pay RM80,000 to ex-aide for defamation



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