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Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Lawyer cited for contempt over refusal to return RM5 mil to clients


The Kuala Lumpur High Court granted two parties leave to initiate contempt proceedings against lawyer Manoharan Kandasamy yesterday. (Reuters pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: A senior lawyer has been cited for contempt of court for refusing to pay RM5 million to two litigants following a Federal Court ruling early this year.

High Court judge Mariana Yahya yesterday allowed Lim Kien Seng and the administrator of the estate of Lim Kian Peet leave to initiate contempt proceedings against Manoharan Kandasamy.

The judge has fixed Nov 26 to hear the merit of the complaint and the 73-year-old lawyer will have an opportunity to give an explanation.

Lawyer M Visvanathan, who represented Lim and the estate administrator together with counsel James Culaz, told the court Manoharan was ordered to return RM5,026,607.60 within 14 days from the date of the order.

“As a lawyer, Manoharan is an officer of the court and owes a higher duty to uphold the rule of law. He must comply with the Federal Court order without any excuses,” he said.

He said Manoharan could possibly be sent to prison for refusing to obey the ruling.

Lawyer Harpal Singh Grewal, who appeared for Manoharan, submitted that there was an application to review the March 3 Federal Court ruling and the hearing was fixed for December.

A five-member bench chaired by Rohana Arifin had allowed an appeal by Lim and the estate administrator that Manoharan return the money.

The lawyer had acted for Lim and the estate administrator and billed them for legal work done.

The plaintiffs then filed an action for the return of the excess amount charged. - FMT

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