The UK Court of Appeal set to hear Hindraf’s legal suit against British government

Jan 17, 2017
Hindraf chairman P.Waythamoorthy.
Hindraf chairman P.Waythamoorthy.

The UK Court of Appeal set to hear Hindraf’s class action suit against the British government this coming Thursday.

According to a statement released by Hindraf, the legal suit was filed on behalf of descendants of indenture labour by its charman P. Waytha Moorthy to seek reparations and certain declarations from the British courts for the injustices suffered by them who were uprooted from their native India and made displaced in Malaysia.

Waytha Moorthy has always maintained the British gave Malaysian Indians a raw deal, made them a landless community, stateless and failed to protect their fundamental rights in the constitution that was drafted by the British.

This resulted in a permanently colonised Indian community who do not have ownership to this country in equal rights and dignity, claimed Hindraf.

The Royal Courts of Justice at the strand London will hear the civil suit at 9.00 am (GMT).

The Class suit was first heard at the London High Court on March 30, 2016 and April 1, 2016 but upon an application by the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Office acting on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen, the High Court struck out the claim under CPR 3(4) or alternatively CPR 24(2) on grounds the claimants have no real prospect of success and there is no compelling reason why the case should disposed of at a trial.

The main reason cited by The Honourable Justice Blake QC, was at the time of independence in 1957, Her Majesty The Queen was acting as the Queen of Malaya and not the Queen of United Kingdom.

Hence the claim should fail on that ground alone, citing the case of R (Quark Fishing Limited) v Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (2006) 1 AC 529.

Other reasons cited for the strike out of the claim was:

i)  There was no duty of care by the UK government towards the Indians in Malaya in 1957.

ii)  Even if there was a duty of care, the UK government did not breach those duties.

iii) There was no special relationship between the UK government and the Indians to render UK liable for the lack of protection afforded in the Constitution given to Malaya.

Waytha Moorthy filed an appeal and seeks to prove that The Queen was at no time the Queen of Malaya and had acted as the Queen of UK at all times.

The liability to neglect of her officers and government towards the Indian community who had been enslaved for almost 200 years, reiterated Waytha.

Waytha claims the decision has insulted the dignity of the Malay Rulers who were independently Sultan’s of the nine states but were merely receiving advice of the Governor of the Federation of Malaya by virtue of the Federation of Malaya Agreement 1948.

In a telephone interview Waytha said  “We need to set the record right, otherwise Malaysians would be misled to think Her Majesty The Queen was the monarch of pre independent Malaya”.

Waytha Moorthy is currently in London together with Hindraf counsel Karthigesan Shanmugam to brief senior barristers and solicitors acting for Hindraf.

Those wishing to follow the proceedings are advised to follow live on Hindraf Facebook page beginning 5pm on Thursday, Jan 19.