PUTRAJAYA, March 13 — The Court of Appeal today ordered Sistem Televisyen Malaysia Bhd (TV3) to pay RM200,000 in damages to veteran lawyer Manjeet Singh Dhillon for defamation.
A three-man bench comprising Datuk Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim, Datuk Dr Badariah Sahamid and Datuk Mary Lim Thiam Suan unanimously allowed Manjeet Singh’s appeal to reverse the High Court decision which had dismissed his lawsuit against TV3.
He said the court found that Manjeet Singh had proved his case against TV3.
Justice Abang Iskandar said there were merits in Manjeet Singh’s appeal, adding that High Court judge Nor Bee Ariffin had erred when she dismissed Manjeet’s suit against TV3 and thus the Court of Appeal invoked its power to set aside that part of the High Court decision.
Meanwhile, former Padang Serai member of Parliament N. Gobalakrishan, former Utusan Malaysia journalist Raja Syahrir Abu Bakar and Utusan Melayu (M) Berhad respectively lost their appeals to set aside the High Court’s order that they pay damages totalling RM350,000 to Manjeet Singh.
In affirming the High Court’s order that Gobalakrishan and Utusan Melayu to pay damages to Manjeet Singh, Abang Iskandar said their appeals did not have merits.
He ordered TV3 to pay RM70,000 in costs and RM20,000 in cost by Gobalakrishan. Meanwhile, Raja Syahrir and Utusan Melayu were ordered to pay a total of RM20,000 in costs.
Manjeet Singh had filed the RM2.5 million defamation suit on September 26, 2011, in which he named Gobalakrishnan, Raja Syahrir, Utusan Melayu and TV3 as the defendants in relation to Gobalakrishan’s interview to the media on Aug 16, 2011.
In his statement of claim, he said that Gobalakrisnan had made derogatory remarks against him.
He claimed Raja Syahrir had prepared a report of the interview which was published by Utusan Malaysia in its newspaper dated Aug 17, 2011, with reckless disregard to the truth of the contents and a substantial part of the entire interview was broadcast on TV3 on Aug 16, 2011.
On Sept 11, 2015, Manjeet Singh won his suit against Gobalakrishnan, Raja Syahrir and Utusan Melayu at the Kuala Lumpur High Court but his suit against TV3 was dismissed.
Manjeet Singh was represented by lawyer Americk Singh Sidhu, while Gobalakrishnan was represented by lawyer Datuk Hasnal Rezua Merican.