Timber firm applies to set aside judgement
KUCHING: Keruntum Sdn Bhd ( Keruntum) yesterday filed an application to the Federal Court to review and set aside the Court’s unanimous judgment to dismiss the company’s appeal against the decisions of the Court of Appeal and High Court dismissing its claim for RM135 million damages arising from the revocation of its Timber Licence No T.0279 on March 10, 1987.
On March 15 this year, the Federal Court ruled that there were no merits in Keruntum’s appeal which was dismissed with costs of RM50,000 to be paid to the respondents, Director of Forests and the state government.
That decision effectively put an end to Keruntum’s pursuit for substantial damages in a case which started in 1987.
The company applied under Rule 137 of Rules of Federal Court, 1995 to have the judgment reviewed by the Federal Court to have it set aside and reheard by another panel of judges.
In an affidavit affirmed by its director Norlia Tun Abdul Rahman, Keruntum complained that the panel of judges in the Federal Court who heard the appeal did not include a Judge “with Bornean judicial experience” as required by paragraph 26(4) of the InterGovernmental Committee (ICG) Report.
Therefore, there was a ‘quorum failure’ and the proceedings and judgment delivered on March 15 this year were null and void. No date has been fixed to the hearing of Keruntum’s application.
State legal counsel Datuk JC Fong, when contacted by The Borneo Post, confirmed having seen the application. He said the State Attorney- General’s Chambers will study the documents filed by Keruntum and prepare for the hearing.
However, assuming the IGC recommendation is relevant, Fong said Justice Tan Sri Hasan Lah, who delivered the judgment on behalf of the Federal Court, definitely had Bornean judicial experience as he served as a judicial commissioner at the High Court in Miri for almost two years from Sept 1, 1998.