Police found liable for lorry driver's death

09 Jan 2017 / 19:44 H.

PETALING JAYA: The High Court here today ruled that the police were liable for the death of lorry driver P. Chandran in the Dang Wangi district police headquarters lock-up more than four years ago.
Justice S. Nantha Balan, in his judgment, awarded a total of RM357,000 in damages to Chandran's widow, N. Selvi, and daughter, C. Rita, for negligence and abuse of public office and another RM50,000 as costs.
He also imposed a 5% interest on the award, to be calculated from the day the suit was filed until the judgment sum is settled.
Nantha Balan said there was negligence on the failure of the policemen to send the deceased for treatment, adding that the death was regrettable as it was avoidable.
He said he found the conduct of the police appalling, despite a magistrate giving orders to the officer, Inspector Mahezel Md Noh, to attend to Chandran's medical needs.
Nantha Balan, in his 86-page written judgment, agreed with then Sessions judge Ahmad Bache, who sat as coroner, that Chandran had died needlessly and his death could have been averted had the police performed their duties and responsibilities.
"The police had a legal duty under the Police Act and the Police Lock-Up Rules 1953 to care for sick and mentally abnormal persons in their custody and they should have taken steps to intervene and send the deceased to the hospital but it appears that everyone who had a duty to look after the detainees had abdicated their responsibilities and washed their hands off the matter," the judge said.
It was reported during the inquest that police only became aware Chandran had died 12 hours after his death in the lock-up.
Chandran, who was 47 then, had died due to hypertensive heart disease due to the police not giving or allowing medicine related to his health.
Nantha Balan was also critical of Inspector Mohd Saidon Shaari, who was tasked with investigating Chandran's death, saying he did not do a thorough job.
Selvi and Rita filed the suit in September 2014 and they named five police officers, the inspector-general of police and the government as defendants.
Chandran was arrested on Sept 6, 2012 and held at the Dang Wangi police station for four days on suspicion of being involved in a kidnapping case of an Indonesian baby who was originally given up for adoption. — Bernama


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