PETALING JAYA: A Federal Court majority ruling which stops family members from filing a claim for exemplary damages is a licence for law enforcement officers to kill suspects under their custody, a retired judge and lawyers said.
Not only was the majority decision wrong, it sent a dangerous message to enforcement agencies, they said.
Retired Federal Court judge Gopal Sri Ram said the majority verdict was an advice to the government that it was cheaper to kill than to maim.
He said the position now was that if a suspect was assaulted in custody and beaten within an inch of his life, then the government was liable to pay exemplary damages to the victim.
“But if the victim dies as a result of the violence inflicted on him there is no need to pay exemplary damages because the Civil Law Act (CLA) 1956 says so,” he told FMT. Read more