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Suit over shooting settled out of court
BY CHARANJEET KAUR
KUALA LUMPUR: A suit filed by the dependants of six men shot dead by police eight years ago in Pengkalan Kubor, Kelantan, was settled out of court yesterday with the payment of an undisclosed amount.
In recording the settlement, High Court judge Datuk Mohd Hishamuddin Yunus said he was happy the matter was resolved.
Earlier, counsel Jagdeep Singh Deo informed the court that both parties had reached a settlement.
This was confirmed by Senior Federal Counsel Kamarudin Mohd Said.
Jagdeep Singh told reporters later that there was an agreement not to disclose the amount and the settlement was made without an admission of liability.
However, G. Muniamah, 50, the mother of Shamugam Kuppusamy, one of the deceased, said “no amount of money will bring back my son.”
Her son, the third of five siblings, was a parking attendant and a Rela member.
The suit, filed in 1999, claimed that wrongful shooting and negligence caused the death of Ramachandran Sitharaman, 37, Shamugam, 21, S.P. Rajendran Subramaniam, 37, Ravi Suppayah, 33, Ganesan Sinnasamy, 30, and Subramaniam Kanappa Reddy, 38, in the Oct 3, 1998 incident at the 24km stretch of Jalan Kota Baru-Tumpat, Kampung Menting, Pengkalan Kubor.
Subramaniam was employed at the Kuala Lipis Health Department while Ganesan worked at the Kuala Lipis Water Supply Department.
Rajendran was a Rela member and Ravi, a Keralla Estate MIC Youth leader.
The plaintiffs, who are parents, wives and children of the deceased, named the Kelantan police, the Inspector-General of Police and the Government as the first, second and third defendants.
In their statement of claim, the plaintiffs said a police team opened fire at the deceased without valid justification.
In their statement of defence, the defendants said the police team's action was justified and bona fide.
They said it was suspected that the van the deceased were in had been used for a criminal offence and the driver did not stop when instructed to do so.
On May 22, 2001, an inquest was held and the Tumpat Coroner’s Court ruled that there was no criminal element involved in the death of the six men.
However, in September 2002, the Kota Baru High Court reversed the decision, saying the coroner's decision that “police had acted in a reasonable manner and in self-defence” was not supported.
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