Yesterday, PKR supreme council member S Manikavasagam (photo
) was served with a RM10 million defamation suit filed by Sentul district police chief ACP K Kumaran on Aug 8.
Manikavasagam was the first to allege foul play in Sujatha’s death. Kumaran’s men were initially investigating the matter but the case has since been transferred to the Kuala Lumpur police contingent.
Sujatha, 31, died on June 25. The police initially classified the case as sudden death. A month later, Manikavasagam lodged a police report a based on an anonymous letter
The letter alleged that there were criminal elements in the death which Kumaran was not investigating as he had links to powerful politicians.
The letter also implicated Sujatha’s employer S Vell Paari, who is the chief executive of troubled investment firm Maika Holdings. Vell Paari had denied
any links to her death.
Manikavasagam’s lawyer M Manoharan today confirmed that his client had been served with a writ of summons and that a reply was being prepared.
“We will make a conditional appearance in court with the view to apply to strike out the said summons and the statement of claims, on the ground that it did not disclose any reasonable cause of action,” he said.
He added that Kumaran’s suit was frivolous, vexatious, scandalous and abuse of the court process. Based on press statement
Kumaran’s suit was based on a press statement issued by Manikavasagam on Aug 3. The police chief also named Tamily daily Makkal Osai
, its editor in chief M Rajintheram and its distributor Osai Distributors as defendants.
According to the Kumaran’s writ of summons, Manikavasagam’s press statement, which was carried by Makkal Osai,
among others, had said the following:
• I (Manikavasagam) from the beginning, did not agree with ACP OCPD Sentul K Kumaran being involved in this case because he is implicated in the matter
• He (Kumaran) has close links with the main suspects, as well as (a Cabinet minister) and other MIC leaders
• Kumaran had served the MIC headquarters in Perak before joining the police force
• Kumaran should stop issuing media statements because he is implicated in this case
• The IGP should suspect Kumaran because he is suspected to have interfered in this case
• This showed that Vell Paari and OCPD Sentul were cooperating to close this case
Kumaran in his writ of summons said the statements made were, “false and seditious statements which had tarnished the dignity and image of the plaintiff (Kumaran)”.
He argued that the actions of all four defendants had resulted in lost of public confidence on his ability to fulfil his role as the Sentul police chief.
Kumaran is also seeking an injuction against all four defendents from making further claims and statements of similar nature. Called for questioning Makkal Osai
’s editor-in-chief M Rajintheran when contacted confirmed that he had been served with the summons today. His lawyer G Saraswathy said it was still premature to comment on the matter although she is considering an application to strike out the suit.
According to Kumaran’s writ of summons, he had received prior consent from the Inspector-General of Police (IGP) in order to proceed with his suit.
The writ of summons added that such a provision was stipulated under Regulation 73 of the IGP Standing Orders A110. This do*****ent however is not publicly available.
In another development, Manikavasagam confirmed that he had been called in by the police to record statements based on a second police report
he lodged concerning Sujatha’s death.
The interview lasted some 45-minutes and took place at the Brickfields district police headquarters.
The second police report called on the police to probe a doctor who had cared for Sujatha during the final days of her life.
When contacted by malaysiakini, Kuala Lumpur CID chief SAC II Ku Chin Wah confirmed that a medical officer from the hospital where Sujatha was admitted had been called in for questioning.
He added the contingent's Serious Crimes Division (D9) were still investigating the case but did not elaborate on the matter.