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Court allows The Edge to claim damages over suspension

  • The Court of Appeal allows The Edge Communications to claim damages from the home ministry over the suspension of its two publications last year.

PUTRAJAYA, Aug 30 (Bernama) -- The Court of Appeal has allowed The Edge Communications Sdn Bhd to claim damages from the home ministry over a suspension order issued on two of its publications last year.

In a unanimous decision, a three-man panel chaired by Justice Datuk Mohd Zawawi Salleh dismissed the appeal brought by the ministry's chief secretary and the minister.

The appellants (ministry's chief secretary and minister) were appealing against a High Court decision on Sept 21, last year to order for assessment of damages incurred by The Edge Communications.

The ministry suspended the publishing permit of The Edge Weekly and The Edge Financial Daily for three months from July 27, last year until Oct 17 last year but the order was quashed by the High Court which allowed The Edge Communications' judicial review application.

In his decision, Mohd Zawawi said the High Court order for damages to be assessed was correct.

He said The Edge Communications had passed the threshold requirement under Order 53 (5) of the Rules of Court 2012 to claim for damages.

Following this decision, the matter will proceed at the High Court for assessment of damages before its registrar.

The Edge Communications is seeking damages for tort misfeasance of public office (a remedy for acts by holder of public office over misuse of power) and constitutional compensation for infringement of constitutional rights which includes freedom of speech and expression.

The three-man panel which included justices Datuk Abdul Rahman Sebli and Datuk Dr Prasad Sandosham Abraham did not hear submissions on the validity of the suspension order but instead, proceeded to hear arguments on the issue of damages.

Mohd Zawawi pointed out that the issue on the validity of the ministry's suspension order was academic because the suspension period had already lapsed, which was conceded by senior federal counsel Alice Loke Yee Ching.

She submitted that The Edge Communications was not entitled to claim for damages as there was no dishonest intention on the part of the ministry to injure the respondent.

Instead, it was exercising its duty which was authorized by the law. Lawyer Darryl Goon, representing The Edge Communications argued that the suspension order would cause losses as both publications were sold to the public for money.



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