Kugan case: Court of Appeal sets April 25 for decision

PUTRAJAYA: The Court of Appeal here today set April 25 for decision on the appeals by the police, the government and a former constable against a High Court decision which found them liable for the death of A. Kugan and ordered them to pay his family RM801,700 in damages.

A three-member panel chaired by Justice Datuk Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof set the date after hearing the submissions by all the parties concerned. Also on the panel are Justice Datuk Mah Weng Kwai and Justice Datuk David Wong Dak Wah.

On June 26, last year, High Court judge Datuk V. T. Singham (now retired) allowed Kugan's mother N. Indra's civil and ordered the appellants to pay Kugan's family RM192,000 for loss of support, RM9,700 for funeral expenses, RM50,000 for pain and suffering, RM50,000 for assault and battery, RM100,000 for false imprisonment, RM100,000 for misfeasance of public office and exemplary damages of RM300,000.

In the proceeding, senior federal counsel Azizan Md Arshad, who represented the police and the government, submitted that the amount awarded by the High Court judge was unreasonable.

"The High Court judge had erred in terms of law and facts when giving damages of RM50,000 for pain and suffering, and at the same time, gave RM50,000 for assault and battery when the damages for the pain and suffering was given based on the clause for assault and battery," he added.

In doing so, he said, there was duplicity in the damages awarded by the judge.

Azizan said Kugan was detained on Jan 15, 2009 and based on the evidence adduced during the trial, Kugan was assaulted on Jan 16, 2009 and died on Jan 20, 2009. The amount for pain and suffering should be around RM10,000 and the respondent had no basis to claim exemplary damages, he added.

Meanwhile, lawyer R. Sivarasa, representing Indra, told the court that the quantum of damages awarded was reasonable and the appellants contention that there was duplicity in the award for 'pain and suffering' and 'assault and battery' was misconceived.

On Jan 13, 2012, Kugan's mother, N. Indra, filed the civil suit against then Selangor police chief Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, who is now Inspector-General of Police, former constable V. Navindran, former Subang Jaya police chief ACP Zainal Rashid Abu Bakar (now deceased), the then IGP and the Government.

Indra, 46, sued the appellants over her son's death in police custody at the USJ Taipan police station on Jan 20, 2009. Kugan, 22, was detained as a suspect in a luxury car theft case.

The police, the government and Navindran filed their respective appeals. Navindran was sentenced to three years jail after he was found guilty by the Sessions Court on two counts of causing hurt to Kugan. – Bernama