Monday 22 Jul 2024
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KUALA LUMPUR (April 4): A legal challenge over the termination of a highly-lucrative government fleet car contract will proceed after the High Court gave more time for relevant paperwork to be filed.

On Thursday, judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Md Shahid delivered his brief ruling that allowed Cekap Urus Sdn Bhd, a joint venture backed by Berjaya Corp Bhd, to file the so-called Form 110 among other documents on or before April 15.

“The judge said that he found merit in our application,” said lawyer Chuar Kia Lin who appeared for Cekap Urus when contacted by The Edge. The case management has been set for May 4, he said.

Cekap Urus — a joint venture between Berjaya Corp, Naza Corp Holdings Sdn Bhd and Tunku Tun Aminah Sultan Ibrahim Ismail — mounted a legal challenge over the termination of a 2019 contract to supply, maintain and manage the government fleet cars.

Berjaya controls 51% in the joint venture, Naza holds 29% while the daughter of Malaysia’s current King has 20%. The government cancelled a letter of intent issued to Cekap Urus, and gave the contract worth nearly RM4 billion to Spanco instead in 2020.

Thursday's decision on Cekap Urus’ application revolved around a technicality that the company had not filed a notice informing respondents — the Ministry of Finance, the government and Spanco — of the judicial review hearing as stipulated by the law.

Cekap Urus should have filed a notice of hearing for judicial review in Form 110 within two weeks from the date leave was granted on Aug 24, but failed to do so and had sought for an extension of time.

Lawyers for Cekap Urus argued that it was an unintentional mistake as other papers were filed and served on all respondents on Sept 6, within the stipulated time.

Counsels for Spanco however objected to the application saying that the applicants had to adhere to the law.

Had the court not ruled in Cekap Urus’ favour, it would’ve ended their legal challenge over the contract’s termination by the government.

The company filed the application on April 20 through Messrs Pierre Chuah and Associates seeking to invalidate the termination, and the company is asking the court for a declaration that the decision to award Spanco the project through direct negotiation is invalid, null and void, and has no effect.

The joint venture is seeking a certiorari order to quash the government’s decision on Jan 25 this year in dismissing its appeal against the termination. Cekap Urus is also requesting a mandamus order to compel the government to execute the letter awarded to Cekap Urus.

Further, Cekap Urus is seeking a stay of the government and ministry’s decision pending determination of the matter, as well as damages and costs to be assessed.

On Aug 23 last year, Cekap Urus obtained leave from the Kuala Lumpur High Court for the judicial review.

Edited ByJason Ng
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