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Double tracking project suit: Jan 11 fixed to hear govt's motion for leave to appeal to apex court

PUTRAJAYA (Sept 22): The Federal Court has fixed Jan 11 next year to hear the government and transport minister's application for leave to appeal relating to a suit filed by the contractor of the Klang Valley Double Tracking Phase 2 (KVDT2) project.

The date was fixed by Federal Court deputy registrar Rasidah Roslee during case management today.

Lawyer Laarnia Rajandran of Messrs Skrine, who is acting for the contractor Dhaya Maju LTAT Sdn Bhd, confirmed the hearing date with theedgemarkets.com.

Senior lawyer Datuk Lim Chee Wee, whose firm is acting for Dhaya Maju in a separate judicial review filed by the company, also confirmed the date when contacted.

For civil appeals to the apex court, leave has to be obtained to ensure that the appeals are not frivolous, vexatious and an abuse of the court process.

Dhaya Maju had filed the suit last year, naming the government, Transport Minister Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong, Opus Consultants Sdn Bhd and Keretapi Tanah Melayu Bhd as defendants, over the decision to terminate the company as the contractor for the project.

The company also filed a judicial review, naming the government and Wee as the respondents, to stop the government's re-tendering of the multi-billion project.

The two appeals are to be heard together at the Federal Court.

Last month, the government through the Attorney General’s Chambers filed an application for leave to appeal further to the apex court after the Court of Appeal dismissed its appeal on July 16.

The Court of Appeal had upheld the decision of the High Court to grant leave to Dhaya Maju LTAT to initiate the judicial review as well as a stay on the cancellation of the contract.

Justice Datuk Lee Swee Seng, who sat together with Justices Datuk S Nantha Balan and Datuk Mohd Soffian Abdul Razak, ruled that the threshold to allow leave for a judicial review is rather low.

“Dhaya Maju LTAT has satisfied the threshold test whereby they are adversely affected by the decision of the government in exercising its public function,” Justice Lee had ruled, adding that ordinarily, the termination of a construction contract is a private law matter, but in this case, there is a public element because according to the government, the reason for the termination was on the grounds of national and public interest as well as security.

Later in July, another appellate court bench allowed Dhaya Maju LTAT's appeal for an Erinford injunction, to restrain KTMB from taking any further action against revoking the company's licence to occupy and continue work on the KVDT2 project site.

Dhaya Maju LTAT was terminated as the contractor by the Perikatan Nasional government in August last year.

This is despite the company having completed 24% of the project and had already been paid more than RM200 million for completing that portion.

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