KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 29 (Bernama) -- The coroner's court on Tuesday ruled
out any criminal involvement in the death of actress K.Sujatha's,
saying that she committed suicide by drinking paraquat.
The 28-year-old was a former personal assistant to S.Vell Paari,
the chief executive officer of Maika holdings and son of MIC president
Datuk Seri S.Samy Vellu.
Vell Paari's lawyer, Datuk K.Kumarendran, told reporters after the
coroner's finding that he hoped that the public perception of the case,
caused by certain political parties, "will be forever buried".
None of Sujatha's family members or friends was present in court Tuesday.
Coroner Mohd Faizi Che Abu said that even though there was no
post-mortem and Sujatha's urine samples were missing, he found that the
cir*****stantial evidence and testimonies "overwhelmingly" indicated that
her death was caused by paraquat ingestion.
Although family members and doctors had testified that the actress
had confessed that she unknowingly took the weedkiller, Mohd Faizi said
the paraquat was inside a sealed bottle and had a pungent smell.
There were also no injury on her body and expert evidence
suggested that she had taken the corrosive sustance while standing, he
Doctors at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital (TARH) in Klang
confirmed that she died there at 10.25am on June 25, 2007, five days
after she was admitted, he said.
On the question of why Sujatha, who lived in a Jalan Ipoh
condominium here, was taken to the Klang hospital instead of the Kuala
Lumpur Hospital, the coroner accepted the reasons given by TARH's Dr S.
P. Saktiveloo, who is also Vell Paari's cousin, that he had managed to
cut waiting time and monitor Sujatha's condition there.
This was supported by the expert evidence of Prof Madya Sharum Abdul Wahid.
"I cannot fault the call by the doctor (Dr Saktiveloo) as he, at
the particular moment, had to balance all the possiblities and come to
the conclusion that it is in the best interest of the patient," the
Mohd Faizi said that although a TARH doctor testified that it was
a normal occurrence, he found it most disturbing that urine samples
from Sujatha were missing because that deprived him of obtaining
medical certainty that she had taken paraquat.
"This left me to rely on cir*****stantial evidence and oral testimony of the witnesses," he said.
Addressing the point that no post-mortem was conducted, the
coroner said it was at the request of Sujatha's family members even
though it was mandatory if there was a police request.
"It is equally comforting to know that after this incident, TARH
had cleared any misunderstanding in respect of medico- legal cases,
where a post-mortem is mandatory," added Mohd Faizi.
He rejected the possibility of a criminal element in the absence
of evidence to support the testimony of Kapar Member of Parliament
S.Manikavasagam that he had received anonymous letters and telephone
calls alleging foul play.
On the presence of Vell Paari's photo found next to Sujatha's bed,
Mohd Faizi said it showed that both of them had a close relationship.
"He could be the person the deceased was in love with but I am
reluctant to decide on this issue as it has no bearing in this
inquest," he added.