Hindraf taking its case to European Court of Justice

Jan 21, 2017

Waytha Moorthy Hindraf

Hindraf has expressed its disappointment with the outcome of its class action suit against the British government and will be taking its case to the European Court of Justice.

Its chairman P. Waytha Moorthy, in a statement said Hindraf was now qualified to do so as the prerequisite to file a case in the European court, it had to exhaust all local avenues in the defaulting signatory country first, which it has now done.

“As such, we would now be working with our legal team in London to initiate an action at the European Court within the next nine months,” he said.

He said that Hindraf’s application to the UK Court of Appeal for leave to appeal the High Court decision delivered on April 1, 2015 striking out the class action suit filed on behalf of Malaysian Indian descendants of indenture labourers was disallowed on Jan 19, 2017.

“Lord Justice Henderson who heard arguments presented by Hindraf Barrister Stuart Stevens made the decision,” he said.

“However, in his ruling he agreed with Counsel’s arguments that Her Majesty The Queen was never the Queen of Malaya as decided by the High Court Judge Justice Blake.”

He also said his Lordship agreed and sympathised with the plight of the Malaysian Indians adding that he also agreed and found the manipulation of original Reid Constitutional proposals were “glaring” and may be infringing the European Convention Human Rights laws.

“However he ruled that the issue of “proximity” was still a hurdle that would be a bar to the application to set aside the striking out proceedings,” it added.

Waytha Moorthy added that there were volumes of evidence to be heard and tested and old historical documents presented to court for its evaluation, and the high legal standard imposed on the strike out proceedings against their case, which was novel and unprecedented, was truly unfair.

“We would have expected a more independent judiciary in the UK, however it is obvious the judiciary has stifled our case at the early stage and are defying the existing case laws especially the principles in the case of Three Rivers District Council (2003) 2 A.C. 1,” he said.

He added that to say there was no proximity between the claimant and his ancestors and the UK Government did not make sense.

“The whole case rests on the premise that the UK Government failed in its duty of care to the Malayan Indians who it took great effort to export to Malaya but failed to protect the fundamental rights in the new constitution when Malaya was granted independence,” he said.

“As a result of such neglect, the Indians became landless, disenfranchised, faced discrimination and were excluded from the mainstream economy of the country.”

He added that Hindraf would not be hindered in its journey to take up the cause of the marginalised Indian community.