KUALA LUMPUR (June 25): Carpet businessman Deepak Jaikishan has filed a fresh suit at the High Court here against Boustead Holdings Bhd and its subsidiaries over 223.33 acres of lands in Kapar and Bukit Raja, Selangor.

In a bourse filing, Boustead announced that Deepak had served a writ of summons against Boustead, its subsidiaries Bakti Wira Development Sdn Bhd and Cebur Megah Development Sdn Bhd, the Federal Land Commissioner, UMW Toyota Motor Sdn Bhd and Suntrack Development Sdn Bhd.

He alleged that the defendants sought to wrongfully deprive him of two plots of land in Kapar, Klang measuring 96.83 acres and 81.09 acres respectively and 45.42 acres of land in Bukit Raja, Petaling.

"The plaintiff claims to rely on causes of action based on the tort of conspiracy, tort of conspiracy to defraud, tort of conversion and the doctrine of undue influence to support its claims against [Boustead], Bakti Wira and Cebur Megah," the filing read.

Deepak is suing for:

i) general, exemplary and aggravated damages;

ii) a permanent injunction to restrain Cebur Megah, the Federal Land Commissioner, UMW Toyota Motor and Suntrack from conducting any dealings with land in question;

iii) an order of specific performance against Cebur Megah, the Federal Land Commissioner, UMW Toyota Motor and Suntrack;

iv) the return of the lands to his company Astacanggih Sdn Bhd;

v) the imposition of an interest rate of 5% per annum on the award until the date of payment;

vi) costs and other reliefs deemed fit by the court.

The businessman also secured an ex parte interim injunction last Friday against the six defendants to prevent them from engaging any dealings with the plots of land.

The injunction is effective until July 1, during which a hearing will be held to determine if the injunction should be maintained until the suit is concluded.

Boustead and its subsidiaries have categorically denied the allegations made by Deepak against them, and called the allegations "frivolous and vexatious, do not disclose a reasonable cause of action and amount to an abuse of process", according to the filing.

A key reason why the suit amounts to an abuse of process is that the purported causes of action and allegations made against Boustead and its subsidiaries amounted to a duplication of an earlier suit that was filed in October 2018.

To recap, Deepak filed the suit against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Boustead and Bakti Wira, claiming that he had suffered losses due to conspiracy, fraud and undue influence by Najib, Rosmah and two others in a property deal which he claimed caused his company to suffer huge losses.

Deepak claimed that as a director and majority shareholder of Astacanggih, he had signed a land deal with the director and majority shareholder of Awan Megah (M) Sdn Bhd, Raja Ropiaah Raja Abdullah, over the three pieces of land in Kapar and Bukit Raja.

He also claimed that Astacanggih had made a deposit payment of RM13 million to Awan Megah and a land bond for RM72.5 million from Kuwait Finance House (M) Bhd had been submitted to the Malaysian government.

However, Awan Megah allegedly refused to produce the original land titles for transfer to Astacanggih.

Deepak claimed that as a result of the conspiracy and interference from Najib and Rosmah, who were named the first and second defendants, he was forced to sell 80% (16 million units) of his shares in Astacanggih to Boustead through Bakti Wira.

He is seeking RM600 million in general damages, RM50 million in exemplary damages and RM26 million in aggravated damages.

"[Boustead], Bakti Wira and Cebur Megah have at all times observed good corporate governance and ethical business practices in the companies' dealings and have acted in compliance with the law and accepted commercial practice when entering into transactions with respect to the lands."

"Based on the advice received from [Boustead], Bakti Wira and Cebur Megah's solicitors, the directors of all three companies believe that the plaintiff's claims in the suit are untenable, and are therefore confident that the companies will succeed in defeating these claims," it said.

As at 12.30pm, Boustead shares were unchanged at 62.5 sen, valuing it at some RM1.27 billion. It saw some 1.22 million shares transacted.

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