KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 20): The Court of Appeal today has affirmed a previous High Court decision to strike out a suit filed by carpet businessman Deepak Jaikishan against former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and Baling MP Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim over taxes incurred for allegedly acting as proxies for the couple.

Justice Datuk Mohamad Zabidin Mohd Diah, who led a three-member panel, in a unanimous decision said the panel judges found no merit in the appeal and awarded costs for the respondents of RM10,000 for each of the appeals. 

"We find that the learned Judicial Commissioner is correct in finding that this is a plain and obvious case for striking out. The statement of claim is obviously unsustainable and is bound to fail if it was to proceed for trial," he said, as he presided over the appeal with Justices Datuk Azizah Nawawi and Datuk S Nantha Balan in the proceedings conducted via Zoom earlier this morning.

Justice Zabidin was referring to the decision made by Judicial Commissioner Quay Chew Soon in July last year where he allowed the application made by Najib, Rosmah and Abdul Azeez as the defendants, to strike out the suit on the grounds that the statement of claim did not disclose a reasonable cause of action as the essential elements to sustain the claims for conspiracy to injure, misfeasance in public office and breach of duty of care. 

In the suit filed on Nov 15, 2018, Deepak, who also named his company Carpet Raya Sdn Bhd and his brother Rajesh as plaintiffs, claimed that between 2004 and 2010, he and the company had acted as agent and proxy to Najib and Rosmah in land transactions and business deals as instructed by the couple.

He also claimed that Abdul Azeez had acted as agent for Najib and Rosmah to carry out the transactions and acted as the intermediary between the couple and Carpet Raya.

Deepak claimed that as a result of the transactions, he received a letter from the Inland Revenue Board (IRB), dated March 2, 2018, to settle the arrears in tax owed by Carpet Raya and his income tax, totalling more than RM6 million, excluding penalty charges and interest.

Deepak claimed that he received the letter from IRB after his relations with the couple soured in 2012 following his refusal to follow their instructions in a civil case involving private investigator P Balasubramaniam.

He claimed that Abdul Azeez had knowledge of the matter.

The plaintiffs claimed that Najib and Rosmah also ordered legal action to be taken by IRB against Carpet Raya.

A winding-up petition was filed against the company on March 22, 2017, by IRB and the petition was published in newspapers.

They claimed that as a result of the petition, the business and reputation of all the plaintiffs were affected.

Deepak was banned from leaving the country, while their business facilities were withdrawn by Maybank. The company’s contract with Ikea was also cancelled.

Deepak and the other plaintiffs were today represented by lawyer Daniel Annamalai, while Najib and Rosmah were represented by Datuk David Mathews. Lawyer Datuk Prem Ramachandran acted for Abdul Azeez.

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