Federal Court allows portion of Auditor-General's report to be used in Taman Rimba Kiara appeal

19 Jan 2022 02:57pm
Source: 123rf
Source: 123rf

PUTRAJAYA - Residents of Taman Tun Dr Ismail (TTDI) are allowed to refer to the second series of the auditor-general's report 2019 and the addendum of the Kuala Lumpur City Plan in the appeals brought by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) and four others to reinstate the proposed Taman Rimba Kiara project development order.

This followed a decision by a Federal Court three-man bench led by Justice Datuk Nallini Pathmanathan in ruling that the documents sought by the TTDI residents were public documents under the Evidence Act and were admissible.

However, she said, the issue on the relevancy and weight to be accorded to the documents would be dealt with at the hearing of the appeal.

She also said counsels representing the parties in the appeals were at liberty to rebut those documents.

Justice Nallini, who presided with Justices Puan Sri Zaleha Yusof and Datuk Rhodzariah Bujang, said the documents were included in the appeal records, and thus, it was unnecessary for the residents to file an application to seek leave to adduce those documents as fresh evidence in the appeals.

Hence, she struck out the leave application by the residents concerned to adduce those documents as fresh evidence in the appeals.

In the proceeding, conducted online via zoom, lawyer Datuk Dr Gurdial Singh Nijar, appearing for the residents, wanted Chapter 6 of the Auditor-General's report 2019 series 2, published and tabled to the Dewan Rakyat on Sept 29, last year, and the addendum of the Kuala Lumpur City Plan 2020 which was adopted and gazetted by the Datuk Bandar of Kuala Lumpur on Oct 30, 2018, to be included in the appeals.

He said the documents were relevant for determination of the appeals, particularly relating to the issue of whether the Kuala Lumpur Structure Plan 2020 had legal effect.

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On Sept 1, last year, the Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL), developer Memang Perkasa Sdn Bhd, Yayasan Wilayah Persekutuan and Bukit Kiara Public Housing Residents Association obtained leave (permission) to appeal to the Federal Court against a Court of Appeal decision which quashed the development order of the project.

The appellate court, on Jan 27 last year overturned the Nov 28, 2018 decision of the High Court that rejected the residents' judicial review to get a certiorari order to quash the conditional planning permission and development order issued by DBKL.

The residents filed the judicial review application on Aug 11, 2017 through the management bodies of Trellises Apartment, Kiara Green Townhouses, Residence Condominium, TTDI Plaza Condominium, The Greens Condominium, as well as TTDI Residents Association and four TTDI residents and house owners. They named DBKL, Yayasan Wilayah, Memang Perkasa and the Bukit Kiara Public Housing Residents Association as respondents in the judicial review.

The residents sought a certiorari order to quash the development order dated July 13, 2017 issued by DBKL for the proposed development of eight blocks of high-end serviced apartments and 29-storey apartments, comprising 350 units of affordable housing, to be built on a piece of land which is part of a public park known as Taman Rimba Kiara.

Lawyers B. Thangaraj appeared for DBKL, Datuk Seri Gopal Sri Ram and Khoo Guat Huat for Memang Perkasa, while Tan Sri Cecil Abraham for Yayasan Wilayah Persekutan and Datuk Harpal Singh Grewal represented the Bukit Kiara Public Housing Residents Association. - BERNAMA