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No exemplary damages in Kugan’s custodial death case, court rules

The Federal Court ruled today that no exemplary damages shall be awarded to family members of individuals who die in custody as a result of police action, in relation to the case of A Kugan.

A majority of the panel, including Chief Judge of Malaya Ahmad Ma'arop, as well as judges Suriyadi Halim Omar and Azahar Mohamed, ruled in favour of the police, who appealed against the decision to award damages to Kugan’s mother.

Justice Zainun Ali dissented, arguing that Sections 7 and 8 of the Civil Law Act 1956 – which pertain to the compensation to the families of persons for loss occasioned by their deaths – predated Merdeka, and that the violation of Kugan's constitutional right to life should be taken into account...

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