KUALA LUMPUR: The High Court will on June 19 deliver its decision in a suit filed by the family of luxury car theft suspect A. Kugan against the police and the government.
Judge Datuk V.T Singham set the date after hearing submissions from the parties yesterday.
Kugan’s mother N. Indra who filed the suit in January last year for alleged negligence and breach of statutory duty was seeking RM5.2 million in damages.
Indra, as administrator of his estate, named Inspector-General of Police (who was then the Selangor police chief) Tan Sri Khalid Abu Bakar, ex-Subang Jaya district police chief ACP Zainal Rashid Abu Bakar, contable V. Navindran, the Inspector-General of Police and the government as defendants.
In her statement of claim, Indra alleged that the defendants had failed to ensure the safety, health and welfare of Kugan while he was in police custody.
Kugan, then 22 years old, was arrested in Puchong on Jan 14, 2009, and held overnight at the Puchong Jaya police lock-up before police obtained a remand order.
He was brought to the Taipan USJ, Subang Jaya police station, on Jan 16, 2009, for questioning but was found dead four days later.
Navindran was sentenced to three years’ jail in June last year after the Sessions Court found him guilty of causing hurt to Kugan.
Yesterday, senior federal counsel Azizan Md Arshad submitted that in order to find that the government was vicariously liable, the plaintiff must prove that Navindran’s act was done in his capacity as a public servant.
“The fact that Navindran alone was involved in committing the offence and he was charged in court in relation to the incident has proved that the government did not condone such acts by its servant,” he said.
Navindran counsel, R. Ramesh Sivakumar, submitted that in order to hold his client to be solely responsible for Kugan’s death, it must be shown that such death would not have occurred if not for Navindran’s conduct.
“There are many factors which led to Kugan’s death and those factors may have operated independently or together to cause his death while in police custody,” he said.
Counsel R. Sivarasa, who acted for Indra, said that Navindran had breached his duty to safeguard Kugan by assaulting and beating him while in custody, and he was the person authorised to record a statement from Kugan.
He added that the Taipan police station diary was fabricated to conceal the truth behind the death.

By Irdiani Mohd Salleh, New Straits Times