KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 11): The High Court in Shah Alam has allowed an application by the Employees Provident Fund (EPF) to enter a summary judgment against Serba Dinamik Holding Bhd’s four directors for unpaid contributions of RM3.28 million from Sept 2021 to July 2022.
Judicial Commissioner Rozi Bainun in her judgment dated Aug 9, 2023 said that EPF, as plaintiff in the case, had met the threshold requirement of the Rules of Court 2012 to enter a final judgment.
This comes after EPF applied for the summary judgment to be entered against the four directors, claiming that they had no defence and there are no issues to be tried.
A summary judgment is a judgment entered by a court for one party and against another party summarily, without a full trial.
Rozi said that the four directors have failed to raise any triable issue or reasonable defence.
“Having evaluated the facts and law arising from this case, I have, in the foregoing, determined that the defendants have so plainly failed to raise any triable issue or reasonable defence.
"I additionally find that the arguments raised by the defendants to be entirely at variance from and not consistent with either the clear position in law or the undisputed contemporary documents. The resistance of the defendants is futile and must therefore fail,” she said.
The court however, did not agree with EPF’s contention that Serba Dinamik and the directors acted in bad faith because Serba Dinamik had been placed under the power and control of an interim liquidator which includes company management, transactions, payments or management.
“In the statement of claim itself, the plaintiff knows that Victor Saw Seng Kee from PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory Services Sdn Bhd has been appointed as interim liquidator. Due to this, the defendants (the four directors) have no power and control over the company including the payments of EPF contributions for its employees,” Rozi surmised.
“The fact that the plaintiff has knowledge about the winding up of the company and the appointment of interim liquidator are not per se an action of mala fide (bad faith). Nothing pleaded in the defence that the plaintiff has acted mala fide,” she said.
Rozi also found that the four directors of the company are liable and responsible to pay the EPF contributions according to Section 46(1) of the EPF Act.
The Act states that it is mandatory for the directors to pay the said contributions, be it jointly or severally.
As for the summary judgment, Rozi said that the directors failed to prove that there were issues that merit a trial.
“On the facts and circumstances of this case, I find that this case was appropriate for summary judgment. I am able to conclude without this matter going to trial because the subject matter in this case is consistent with the documents produced by the plaintiff in its affidavits,” she said.
“Guided by the principles to allow the summary judgment to the facts of this case, this court finds that there are no manifest errors made by the plaintiff and this is a plain and obvious case with no issues to be tried, which would be suitable for judgment to be granted summarily,” she said.
Saw was appointed as liquidator by the High Court on Jan 10, after the court had allowed the winding-up petition of namely Serba Dinamik Holdings Berhad (SDHB), Serba Dinamik Group Bhd (SDGB), Serba Dinamik Sdn Bhd (SDSB) and Serba Dinamik International Ltd.