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Tuesday, 13 March 2018 | MYT 8:36 PM

Appeals Court orders TV3 to pay lawyer RM200,000 in damages for defamation

PUTRAJAYA: Sistem Televisyen Malaysia Bhd (TV3) has been ordered to pay veteran lawyer Manjeet Singh Dhillon RM200,000 in damages in his defamation suit against the TV station.  

Court of Appeal judge Justice Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim made the order after allowing Manjeet's appeal on the grounds that there was merit in his application.  

"The plaintiff (Manjeet) has proven his case against TV3 and that the High Court judge had erred in rejecting his suit," said Justice Abang Iskandar, who presided with Justices Dr Badariah Sahamid and Mary Lim Thiam Suan on Tuesday.   

Justice Abang Iskandar said their decision was unanimous and instructed the TV station to pay RM70,000 in costs.  

Meanwhile, former Padang Serai MP N. Gobalakrishnan, publisher Utusan Melayu (M) Bhd and its then journalist Raja Syahrir Abu Bakar lost their appeal to set aside the RM350,000 in damages which they were ordered to pay to Manjeet.  

Justice Abang Iskandar dismissed their appeal on the grounds that there was no merit in their application and later ordered Gobalakrishnan to pay RM20,000 in costs while Utusan Melayu and Raja Syahrir were also instructed to pay costs of RM20,000.  

Lawyer Americk Singh Sidhu acted for Manjeet, Datuk Hasnal Rezua Merican for Gobalakrishnan, Tan Sri Dr Muhammad Shafee Abdullah for Utusan Melayu and Raja Syahrir while T. H. Liew appeared for TV3.  

On Sept 11, 2015, Manjeet lost his defamation claim against TV3 but won RM350,000 in compensation damages in his suit against Gobalakrishnan, Utusan Melayu and Raja Syahrir at the Kuala Lumpur High Court.  

In his lawsuit filed on Sept 26, 2011, Manjeet claimed Gobalakrishnan gave an interview to the media on Aug 16, where he made derogatory remarks against the veteran lawyer.  

Raja Syahrir had prepared a report of the interview, which was published by Utusan in its newspaper dated Aug 17, 2011, under the title Manjeet selalu burukkan kerajaan (Manjeet always smears the Government).  

Aa substantial part of the entire interview was broadcast on TV3 on Aug 16, 2011.