KUALA LUMPUR: A High Court dismissed a negligent suit filed by the sister of toddy shop assistant R. Gunasegaran over his death in police custody four years ago.
Justice Yeoh Wee Siam said the court was satisfied, on a balance of probabilities, that the defendants were not liable.
"Thus, the plaintiff is not entitled to the damages claimed.
"Accordingly, the plaintiff's claim against the defendants is dismissed," she said when delivering her decision in the presence of counsel M. Visvanathan who appeared for Gunasegaran's elder sister R. Ganga Gouri and Senior Federal Counsel Nur Aqilah Ishak for the defendants.
Justice Yeoh made no order as to costs.
The suit was against the Government, former Inspector–General of Police Tan Sri Musa Hassan and 10 others.
Justice Yeoh made the rulings on grounds that Ganga Gouri, 36, had no locus standi to commence the action.
"The court holds that since the plaintiff is not the wife, parent or child of the deceased, but is the sister, the plaintiff is not allowed to file the action on behalf of herself," she said.
She said at the time when the suit was filed, Ganga Gouri was not legally appointed as the representative or administrator of the estate of the deceased.
In her suit filed on July 13, last year, Ganga Gouri claimed that seven policemen from the Sentul police station failed to comply with their legal duties and practises which led to Gunasegaran's death at the police station lockup on July 16, 2009.
Among others, the factory operator said a senior criminal investigation officer, ASP Mohamad Idris, failed to conduct a thorough investigation into the cause of death.
Ganga Gouri alleged that Sentul OCPD ACP Zakaria Pagan and Musa had failed to ensure that ASP Mohamad and seven policemen complied with the law, in particular the Police Regulations and practices.
She said a post–mortem on July 17, 2009, stated that Gunasegaran's death was "drug related".
Not satisfied with the findings, she made an application in the High Court to conduct second autopsy at University Malaya Medical Centre where pathologist Dr Prashant N. Samberkar confirmed that he found injury at the deceased chest which may have triggered Gunasegaran's death.
On July 19, High Court Justice Kamardin Hashim upheld the open verdict by Coroner Siti Shakirah Mohtarudin.
The inquest was conducted to determine the cause of Gunasegaran's death, who was in police custody and collapsed while his thumb print was being taken. He was pronounced dead at 7.40pm in the HKL.