Wednesday, July 24

High Court orders ‘sold’ land returned to rightful owner

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SHAH ALAM: The Shah Alam High Court yesterday ordered a 1.2-hectare piece of land sold to two buyers by an individual using falsified documents in 2000 to be returned to the rightful owner.Judicial Commissioner Mohd Yazid Mustafa ruled that the land in Ulu Bernam belonged to Indian citizen V A Adaickappan Vellayappa Chettiar, 70, and that the power of attorney dated Aug 24, 2000 held by one Chong Chi Vui, 40, when he sold the land to Loh Hai Chong, 56, and Loh Ah Ng, 49, was invalid because the appointment of commissioner of oaths Saidina Amin Hussin, who had purportedly issued the document, had expired on May 31, 2000.

He also said that the identification card number 500123-02-5531 stated as Adaickappan’s on the sale and purchase agreement did not exist and that the photo on the copy of the IC was of someone else compared with the photo in Adaickappan’s passport.

He said that on the balance of probability that the identification card of the owner and the power of attorney were forged documents, any transaction based on these documents would be illegal.

Hai Chong, of Kepong Baru, and Ah Ng, of Sungai Buluh, had pleaded that they were bona fide purchasers of the land, which they had bought for RM200,000 from Chong, of Menggatal, Sabah, on Nov 6, 2000.

The judge said the purchase price of RM200,000 was below the actual market price of RM600,000 in 2000, and that both Hai Chong and Ah Ng knew all along that Chong was a bankrupt.

It was discovered that the ownership of the land had changed after Raman K R P Perumal, a nephew of Adaickappan, conducted a search at the Hulu Selangor land office on March 14, 2001, and immediately entered a private caveat.

Adaickappan had executed a power of attorney to Raman on Jan 17, 2001 to take care of the land on his behalf for about 10 years.

Mohd Yazid ordered the Hulu Selangor Land Office to cancel the names of Hai Chong and Ah Ng and insert Adaickappan as the rightful registered owner on the land title.

He also awarded general damages at the rate of eight per cent per annum from the date of his judgement until full settlement and the costs of the action to be paid by Hai Chong and Ah Ng. — Bernama