General worker’s family win civil suit over custodial death

13 Aug 2019 / 21:26 H.

IPOH: The family of general worker Kamarulnizam Ismail have won their suit in the High Court here against 12 individuals and the government for his death in Tapah prison about five years ago.

Judicial Commissioner Anslem Charles Fernandis, in his judgment today, said all the defendants were liable for the negligence that caused the death of Kamarulnizam on March 7, 2014.

He ordered that Kamarulnizam’s family be paid RM100,000 for his unlawful detention, RM50,000 for misfeasance of public office, RM12,000 for the cost of a full trial and RM2,000 for funeral expenses.

According to Anslem, after Kamarulnizam was sentenced to 14 days’ jail, he was kept at the Seberang Prai police station lock-up for two days before being transported to the Tapah Prison on March 6.

The judge described his stay in the lock-up as unlawful detention because under Section 282 of the Criminal Procedure Code it is mandatory, whenever there is an order, for police officers to act within a reasonable time to transport those found guilty to the prison, and not after two days.

The Magistrate’s Court in Penang had given him the jail term as he could not pay a RM800 fine after pleading guilty to possession of stolen goods on March 4, 2014.

Justice Anslem also said warden officers in Tapah prison should have kept an eye on Kamarulnizam and be more vigilant after he was given medication for diarrhoea.

On the cause of death, Anslem said he agreed with the pathologist’s findings upon examination of the body and post-mortem results that Kamarulnizam had died of a lung infection.

Kamarulnizam’s mother, Rahaya Salleh, 69, filed the suit through counsel M. Visvanathan against the parties on March 3, 2017 and sought for dependency, misfeasance of public office, aggravated, exemplary and special damages.

They filed the suit because they were dissatisfied after finding bruises on several parts of his body.

Rahaya, when met by reporters, said she was thankful that their legal battle had ended on a successful note and that justice had been served. — Bernama

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