A local resident has accused the Tanjung Malim District Council for issuing allegedly fake court orders against him in order to claim outstanding assessment tax payments.
However, the council denied any wrongdoing in the matter, claiming it was a misunderstanding.
A lawyer, who wished to be called Rajeswari, said her client was issued two “court orders” in November last year.
The orders asked her client to appear before a magistrate to settle the overdue assessment dues, Rajeswari said.
However, she discovered that the orders were issued without the court's acknowledgement, and had not been filed in court.
When the local government was questioned on this, Rajeswari claimed a council staff conceded that the orders were fraudulent.
She said the southern Perak local council officers pasted the court orders on the door of her client's low-cost house on two occasions.
The first order, dated Nov 15, 2016, requested her client to appear before the magistrate at 8am on Nov 22 for an overdue assessment tax of RM865.60.
The second order, dated Nov 30, 2016, said the same but Rajeswari's client was instead asked to be present in court at 8am on Dec 7.
Both orders, Rajeswari said, did not have the court seal, filing date, case number and magistrate's signature - all of which are essential elements of a proper court order.
After receiving a request from her client, Rajeswari went to the court complex in Tanjung Malim on Dec 1 to deal with the case.
Upon checking with the two magistrate courts there, she found that both courts did not have records of the said orders.
“I went to the Tanjung Malim and Slim River magistrate courts to verify this and the staff told me they never received such an application, which meant the council did not file (the case).
“They just prepared the case, they didn't file it, and yet the hearing date was ‘fixed’... This is a fraud,” she told Malaysiakini when contacted.
'We want to pressure them to pay'
Discovering the seriousness of the case, Rajeswari knocked on the doors of the local council to seek clarification.
“I personally went to their office, I asked (one of the staff): 'You shouldn't do this, right?' He said: 'Yes, but we want to pressure them to pay'.”
Five days later, on Dec 6, Rajeswari, on behalf of her client, sent a letter to the council demanding an explanation on the matter.
But instead of replying her queries, the council quickly corrected its previous procedure and filed the case in the Slim River magistrate court on Dec 9, she said.
This time, the order bearing the court seal and magistrate's signature fixed Dec 23 for hearing.
Despite the council having obtained a court order, her client lodged a police report against the previous two fraudulent court orders, Rajeswari said.
The issue has raised the concern of a local NGO as well, which has also lodged a police report on the matter. Malaysiakini has obtained a copy of the report.
In his report, Pertubuhan Kebajikan Masyarakat Tanjung Malim dan Slim River secretary M Mythreyar said he received a complaint from local resident over the fake court order.
Mythreyar hoped the police would investigate the matter.
In response, Tanjung Malim District Council chairperson Mohd Syukri Azaari denied there was fraud over the matter.
He clarified that the matter was “a misunderstanding”.
“In short, the council did not commit fraudulent behaviour. There is a misunderstanding between the two parties. Also, the matter was resolved,” Mohd Syukri told Malaysiakini via a WhatsApp reply.
However, he did not respond to a question on why there were no court seals on the two court orders posted on the door of the complainant’s house.-Mkini