Samy Vellu mental health inquiry can’t be made public, says court

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Former MIC president Samy Vellu is being sued by his son to ascertain his mental fitness. (Bernama pic)

KUALA LUMPUR: All matters relating to an inquiry into former MIC president S Samy Vellu’s mental health cannot be disclosed to the public, according to a lawyer involved in the case.

Lawyer David Mathews, who represented Samy Vellu’s son Vell Paari, said High Court Judge Wong Chee Lin had, on Oct 2, granted the application by his client to keep the matter confidential.

Mathews, when contacted, said there was a protective or sealing order in force relating to the inquiry.

“The court made the confidentiality order. Court dates and court papers relating to the inquiry cannot be revealed. I cannot say more,” he said, adding that the application for the sealing order on the inquiry was made on Sept 27.

On Sept 11, Wong allowed Vell Paari’s application for his father to undergo a mental health inquiry.

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Vell Paari, 58, filed the suit against his father on Dec 2 last year, seeking a court order for an investigation to be conducted to ascertain the mental fitness of his father, and whether the former works minister had the capacity to manage himself and his matters.

In the suit, Vell Paari is seeking an order that a date, time and place be set for an investigation to be conducted under Section 52 of the Mental Health Act 2001 on his father, to determine the period his father had been suffering from mental disorder.

He is also seeking a court order to find out if his father is capable of giving orders to his lawyer to act on his (Samy Vellu) behalf and to determine the types of property his father owns.

The former MIC secretary-general is also requesting that consultant neuropsychiatrist and Neurobehavioural Medicine head at the Penang Adventist Hospital, Dr Prem Kumar Chandrasekaran, 52, or other mental health experts, be given access to examine his father personally and prepare a report on the defendant’s mental capacity.

In the event that the defendant is found to be suffering from a mental disorder and incapable of managing himself and his affairs, Vell Paari will seek that several individuals, including himself (plaintiff) and lawyer C Vijaya Kumar, be appointed by the court as committee members to manage the defendant’s estate.

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If the individuals are allowed by the court to be appointed as committee members, the plaintiff will seek that the court determine the powers of the committee, set a provision for its costs and expenses as well as remuneration to be paid to the members.

Vell Paari will also seek an order for him to be appointed as the defendant’s litigation representative in any legal proceedings involving Samy Vellu, his property or interests.

He said that since 2017, he had assisted his father in managing his affairs and estate and had used his own funds for the purpose, as his father could not have access to the funds from his bank accounts due to health reasons.

On Sept 11, Wong rejected an application by Meeriam Rosaline Edward Paul, 59, who claimed to be the wife of Samy Vellu, to be an intervener in Vell Paari’s lawsuit.

Rosaline had also failed in her second bid to be an intervener after the same court dismissed her application on Oct 8.

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