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CASE(S) OF THE WEEK

LAND LAW: Strata title - Management corporation - Validity of Annual General Meeting - Allegations of failure to observe provisions of Strata Titles Act 1985 - Whether plaintiff exhausted internal remedies before filing suit in court - Whether dispute to be regulated by Commissioner of Building - Whether court had limited jurisdiction in matters of dispute between proprietors


FOO YAU LIM & ORS v. DATO' HAN JOKE KWANG & ANOR
COURT OF APPEAL, PUTRAJAYA, ABDUL WAHAB PATAIL JCA, BALIA YUSOF WAHI JCA
TENGKU MAIMUN JCA
[CIVIL APPEAL NO: W-02-2218-2012]
29 NOVEMBER 2013

The first respondent (`plaintiff') was the proprietor of one unit of an apartment known as Anjung Hijau Apartments (`Anjung Hijau') and the second respondent (`first defendant') was the management corporation of Anjung Hijau established under the Strata Titles Act 1985 (`the Act'). The first to the seventh appellants (`the second to the eighth defendants') were the council members of the first defendant. Dispute arose when it was alleged that there was contravention of the statutory provisions in the Act in relation to the conduct of the third Annual General Meeting (`AGM') and a suit was thus filed in the High Court. Prior to that, the plaintiff and one Liew Yeon Keong had raised complaints with the Commissioner of Building (`COB') in respect of the defendants' conduct which was alleged to be invalid and not in accordance with the Act. In the High Court, it was contended that the non-compliance with the material statutory provisions rendered the third AGM null and void. The High Court ruled in favour of the plaintiff and held, among others, that (i) the resolutions passed were improperly tabled whereby there was a contravention of the Act; and (ii) there were failures to observe the statutory requirements regarding the election of the council members. Dissatisfied, the second to the eight defendants appealed. It was argued that the dispute was to be regulated by the COB under the Act and that the court had limited jurisdiction in matters of dispute between proprietors. Further, it was contended that the statutory regime does not allow the proprietors to sue the council members.

Held (allowing appeal; setting aside decision of the High Court)

Per Tengku Maimun JCA delivering the judgment of the court:

(1) The COB had informed the first defendant about the complaints received and had requested the latter to provide its feedback. The COB had also informed that a meeting would be held between the two parties to resolve the matter. However, without waiting for the meeting or for any resolution by the COB, the plaintiff had filed the originating summons. Hence, the plaintiff could not be said to have exhausted the internal remedies before coming to court and had not followed the procedure set out in the Act. (paras 25, 28 & 29)

Bahasa Malaysia Translation Of Headnotes

Responden pertama (`plaintif') adalah pemilik sebuah unit pangsapuri yang dikenali sebagai Anjung Hijau Apartments (`Anjung Hijau') dan responden kedua (`defendan pertama') adalah perbadanan pengurusan Anjung Hijau yang ditubuhkan di bawah Akta Hakmilik Strata 1985 (`Akta'). Perayu-perayu pertama hingga ketujuh (`defendan-defendan kedua hingga kelapan') merupakan ahli majlis defendan pertama. Pertikaian berbangkit apabila didakwa bahawa terdapat perlanggaran peruntukan statutori dalam Akta berkenaan pengendalian Mesyuarat Agung Tahunan (`AGM') ketiga dan oleh itu, satu tindakan telah difailkan di Mahkamah Tinggi. Sebelum itu, plaintif bersama-sama satu Liew Yeon Keong telah membuat aduan kepada Pesuruhjaya Bangunan (`COB') berkenaan tindakan defendan-defendan yang dituduh adalah tidak sah dan tidak mengikut Akta. Di Mahkamah Tinggi, adalah dihujahkan bahawa ketidakpatuhan peruntukan penting statutori telah menyebabkan AGM tidak sah dan terbatal. Mahkamah Tinggi memberikan penghakiman bagi pihak plaintif dan memutuskan, antara lain, bahawa (i) resolusi yang diluluskan telah dibentangkan dengan salah di mana terdapat perlanggaran Akta; dan (ii) terdapat kegagalan untuk mematuhi kehendak statutori berkenaan pemilihan ahli majlis. Tidak berpuashati, defendan-defendan kedua hingga kelapan merayu. Dihujahkan bahawa pertikaian ini sepatutnya dikawal oleh COB di bawah Akta dan bahawa mahkamah mempunyai bidang kuasa terhad berkenaan hal pertikaian di antara pemilik-pemilik. Tambahan, dihujahkan bahawa rejim statutori tidak membenarkan pemilik-pemilik mengambil tindakan terhadap ahli majlis.

Diputuskan (membenarkan rayuan; mengenepikan keputusan Mahkamah Tinggi)

Oleh Tengku Maimun HMR menyampaikan penghakiman mahkamah:

(1) COB telah pun memaklumkan kepada defendan pertama berkenaan aduan-aduan yang diterima dan telah meminta defendan pertama memberikan maklum balas. COB juga telah memaklumkan bahawa satu mesyuarat akan diadakan antara kedua-dua pihak dalam mencari jalan untuk menyelesaikan perkara ini. Walau bagaimanapun, tanpa menunggu untuk mesyuarat tersebut ataupun sebarang penyelesaian daripada COB, plaintif telah memfailkan saman pemula. Oleh itu, plaintif tidak boleh dikatakan telah menggunakan kesemua saluran penyelesaian dalaman sebelum memfailkan tindakan di mahkamah dan tidak mematuhi prosedur seperti yang diperuntukkan dalam Akta.

Case(s) referred to:

Perbadanan Pengurusan Menara Gurney & Ors v. Pesuruhjaya Bangunan, Majlis Perbandaran Pulau Pinang & Anor [2011] 6 CLJ 583 HC (refd)

Legislation referred to:

Building and Common Property (Maintenance and Management) Act 2007, s. 41

Strata Titles Act 1985, ss. 4, 44(2), Second Schedule, paras. 4, 5(a), 7(3), 8, 9(3), 13, 14, 15, 16

Counsel:

For the 1st-3rd & 5th-7th appellants - Logan Sabapathy (Tan Tai Hwa & Tan Lin Choon with him); M/s Tai Hwa & Co

For the 1st respondent - Christopher Lai King Lung; M/s Chris Lai, Yap & Partners

For the 2nd respondent - Yee Fei Churn (Farrahanie Yasmin Ahmad Yusoff with him); M/s Davis & Low

[Editor's note: For the High Court judgment, please see Dato' Han Joke Kwang v. Perbadanan Pengurusan Anjung Hijau & Ors [2012] 1 LNS 1210.]

Reported by Kumitha Abd Majid




CRIMINAL PROCEDURE: Courts - High Court - Inherent powers - Exercise of discretionary powers to stay and/or set aside charge against accused - Application for - Whether there was element of mala fide in instituting charge - Whether exercise of inherent powers of court justified


MOHD RAFIZI RAMLI v. PP
COURT OF APPEAL, PUTRAJAYA
MOHAMED APANDI ALI JCA, LINTON ALBERT JCA, MOHTARUDIN BAKI JCA
[CRIMINAL APPLICATION NO: B-09-366-11-2012]
28 NOVEMBER 2013

The appellant was charged in the Sessions Court for committing an offence under s. 97(1) of the Banking and Financial Institutions Act 1989. The appellant made an application to the High Court in order for the court to exercise the discretionary powers under its inherent jurisdiction and under s. 5 of the Criminal Procedure Code. The reliefs sought, inter alia, were (i) that the charge against the appellant be stayed and/or set aside and quashed; and (ii) that the appellant be discharged and acquitted. However, the High Court refused the said application and hence, this appeal. It was the appellant's contention that the charge and prosecution against him was mala fide, against public policy, politically motivated and/or an abuse of process.

Held (dismissing appeal)

Per Mohamed Apandi Ali JCA delivering the judgment of the court:

(1) The issue of mala fide was a question of fact and must be proved by evidence. The appellant would have all the opportunity to adduce such evidence, if any, at the trial proper. On the facts, there was no evidence of any mala fide on the part of the prosecution in instituting the charges against the appellant. The burden to prove such serious allegations was upon the appellant and mere suspicion was not enough. Further, there was no plausible reason for the High Court to interfere with the prosecution's duty in the criminal proceedings against the appellant. Inherent power could not be invoked when there was another remedy available, namely the right to be heard at the trial proper. In the circumstances, there was no miscarriage of justice to justify any exercise of the inherent jurisdiction of the High Court. (paras 8, 12 & 17)

Bahasa Malaysia Translation Of Headnotes

Perayu telah dituduh di Mahkamah Sesyen kerana melakukan kesalahan di bawah s. 97(1) Akta Bank dan Institusi-Institusi Kewangan 1989. Perayu telah membuat satu permohonan ke Mahkamah Tinggi supaya mahkamah melaksanakan budi bicaranya di bawah kuasa sedia ada dan di bawah s. 5 Kanun Tatacara Jenayah. Antara relif-relif yang dipohon adalah agar (i) tuduhan terhadap perayu digantung dan/atau diketepikan dan dibatalkan; dan (ii) perayu dilepaskan dan dibebaskan. Walau bagaimanapun, Mahkamah Tinggi menolak permohonan tersebut dan oleh itu, rayuan ini. Perayu menghujahkan bahawa tuduhan dan pendakwaan terhadapnya adalah mala fide, bertentangan dengan kepentingan awam, mempunyai dorongan politik dan/atau suatu penyalahgunaan proses.

Diputuskan (menolak rayuan)

Oleh Mohamed Apandi Ali HMR menyampaikan penghakiman mahkamah:

(1) Isu berkenaan mala fide adalah satu persoalan fakta dan mesti dibuktikan melalui keterangan. Perayu mempunyai segala peluang untuk mengemukakan keterangan sebegitu, jika ada, semasa perbicaraan. Berdasarkan fakta, tiada keterangan berkenaan mala fide pada pihak pendakwaan dalam memulakan tuduhan terhadap perayu. Beban untuk membuktikan tuduhan serius sebegitu terletak atas perayu dan keraguan semata-mata tidak mencukupi. Selanjutnya, tiada alasan munasabah untuk Mahkamah Tinggi campur tangan dengan tugas pendakwaan dalam prosiding jenayah terhadap perayu. Kuasa sedia ada tidak boleh dibangkitkan apabila terdapat remedi lain, iaitu hak untuk didengar semasa perbicaraan. Dalam keadaan ini, tiada ketidakadilan untuk menjustifikasikan sebarang pelaksanaan bidang kuasa sedia ada Mahkamah Tinggi.

Case(s) referred to:

Connelly v. Director of Public Prosecutions [1964] 2 All ER 401 (refd)

Director of Public Prosecutions v. Humphrys [1976] 2 All ER 497 (refd)

Karpal Singh & Anor v. PP [1991] 2 CLJ 1458; [1991] 1 CLJ (Rep) 183 (refd)

Lee Kwan Woh v. PP [2009] 5 CLJ 631 (refd)

Long Samat & Ors v. PP [1974] 1 LNS 80 FC (foll)

Mills v. Cooper [1967] 2 All ER 100 (refd)

R v. Chairman, County of London Quarter Sessions ex parte Downes [1954] 1 QB 1 (refd)

R v. Great Yarmouth Magistrates', ex p Thomas, Daris and Darlington [1992] Crim LR 116 (refd)

R v. Stubley, R v. Wardle [1999] QB 822 (refd)

Regina v. Governor of Brixton Prison ex Parte Soblen [1963] 2 QB 243 (refd)

Tan Boon Hock v. PP [1978] 1 LNS 194 FC (refd)

Yeap Seok Pen v. Government of the State of Kelantan [1986] 1 LNS 89 PC (refd)

Legislation referred to:

Criminal Procedure Code, ss. 5, 376

Federal Constitution, art. 145(3)

Counsel:

For the appellant - R Sivarasa; M/s Daim & Gamany

For the respondent - Nahra Dollah (Normie Baizura Amiruddin with her); DPPs

[Appeal from High Court, Shah Alam; Criminal Application No: 44-59-09-2012]

Reported by Kumitha Abd Majid




UNDANG-UNDANG JENAYAH: Kanun Keseksaan - Seksyen 323 - Sengaja menyebabkan cedera - Intipati pertuduhan - Mangsa berumur 14 tahun pada masa kejadian - Sama ada terdapat percanggahan di dalam keterangan saksi-saksi - Sama ada kenyataan mangsa diteliti dengan cermat - Sama ada terdapat bukti untuk menyokong pertuduhan


PP lwn. NA LIAN SENG [2014] 1 SMC 65
MAHKAMAH MAJISTRET, PETALING JAYA
MOHD HEZRI SHAHARIL MJ
[SAMAN NO: 85-01-12]
8 NOVEMBER 2013

Nota Pengarang: Pihak pendakwaan telah merayu terhadap keputusan Yang Arif Majistret bertarikh 8 November 2013. Mahkamah Tinggi telah memutuskan agar kes ini dikembalikan ke Mahkamah Majistret supaya OKS memasukkan pembelaan. Bila kes dikembalikan semula ke Mahkamah Majistret, OKS, walau bagaimanapun, telah mengaku bersalah dan mahkamah menetapkan hukuman denda sebanyak RM1,500 jika gagal bayar penjara satu bulan.

OKS telah dituduh di bawah s. 323 Kanun Keseksaan atas kesalahan menampar bahagian pipi kanan anak perempuannya (`mangsa') yang berumur 14 tahun pada masa kejadian. Adalah kes pihak pendakwaan bahawa mangsa telah ditampar kerana mencampuri urusan OKS dan isterinya (`SP1') apabila terdapat pertengkaran di antara mereka.

Diputuskan (melepaskan dan membebaskan OKS tanpa dipanggil untuk membela diri):

(1) Elemen-elemen yang perlu dibuktikan atas pertuduhan adalah bahawa (i) OKS telah, dengan niat, mencederakan mangsa; dan (ii) mangsa mengalami kecederaan akibat perbuatan OKS. (perenggan 6)

(2) Semasa disoal balas, SP1 menyatakan bahawa beliau tidak melihat mangsa ditampar. Terdapat beberapa percanggahan di dalam keterangan saksi-saksi berbanding dengan ekshibit-ekshibit yang dikemukakan. Tambahan, memandangkan mangsa adalah di bawah umur semasa kejadian dan semasa memberi keterangan, mahkamah telah meneliti kelakuan dan kenyataan beliau dengan penuh cermat semasa keterangan diberikan. (perenggan 7 & 8)

(3) Walaupun laporan perubatan mangsa menyatakan kesan lebam di bahagian atas pipi kanan mangsa, namun, punca lebam itu tidak dapat dipastikan secara tepat tanpa saksi dan bukti lain yang menyokong keadaan tersebut. Tambahan, tiada saksi-saksi lain yang melihat kejadian tampar tersebut. (perenggan 8)

Kes-kes yang dirujuk:

Balachandran v. PP [2005] 1 CLJ 85 FC (dirujuk)

PP v. Mohd Radzi Abu Bakar [2006] 1 CLJ 457 FC (dirujuk)

Perundangan yang dirujuk:

Penal Code, s. 323

Dilaporkan oleh Kumitha Abd Majid

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