Friday, June 11, 2010

RM3.3 mil award for ISA detainee. Justice after 16 years

Published: Thursday June 10, 2010 MYT 5:32:00 PM

Ex-ISA detainee awarded RM3.3mil

PUTRAJAYA: The High Court here Thursday awarded RM3.3mil in general and exemplary damages to a businessman for wrongful detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA) in 1994, for alleged involvement in issuing fake permits and passports to foreign workers.
Justice Datuk Mohd Hishamudin Mohd Yunus said the court agreed with Badrul Zaman P.S. Mohamed that his detention was unlawful and unconstitutional.
He said the court also took into consideration the cost of injury to Badrul Zaman's reputation as a businessman.
He added that an award of RM20,000 per day would be fair and just after taking into account that Badrul Zaman had been deprived of his liberty during the detention.
Justice Mohd Hishamudin said taking into account 300 days of detention, Badrul Zaman should be paid RM6mil but the court decided to give a 50% discount to the defendants - the Kamunting Detention Centre superintendent, deputy home minister and the Government.
Mohd Hishamudin, who is now a Court of Appeal judge, also awarded exemplary damages of RM300,000 for two reasons - the detention was unlawful and unconstitutional, and the detention order was extended after the initial two-year period of preventive detention.
"I think it's a harsh and oppressive act on the part of the deputy minister," said the judge, who also awarded costs to the plaintiff.
Badul Zaman, in his suit, said he was not challenging the validity of his initial detention order under Section 8(1) of the Internal Security Act (ISA) on Sept 12, 1991, when he was detained for two years.
However, he was challenging the extension of his detention order issued by the deputy minister for another two years effective Sept 14, 1993.
In 1994, the Penang High Court granted his application for a writ of habeas corpus and set him free after ruling that the extended detention was unlawful and unconstitutional on the grounds that there was non-compliance of the provisions of the ISA.
Badrul Zaman said he was happy with the decision after waiting for nearly 16 years to get justice and clear his reputation.
Meanwhile, senior federal counsel Isnan Ishak said he would refer to the Attorney-General's office on whether or not to file an appeal.
Lawyer M. Manoharan appeared for Badrul Zaman. - Bernama

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