A man who became disabled after being shot by a lance corporal almost seven years ago won his negligence suit against the police when the High Court in Kuala Lumpur ordered the latter to pay him RM900,000 in compensation.
Judicial Commissioner Siti Khadijah S. Hassan Badjenid ordered the defendants, Lance Corporal Nadzri Ahmad and the inspector-general of police to pay the amount to the plaintiff, Johari Kasman, 28.
In her judgment, Siti Khadijah held that Nadzri’s action clearly showed abuse of power. She further held that there were inconsistencies between the expert’s testimony and the defence’s affidavit with regard to the range of the shot.
She noted that during the incident Nadzri was in uniform when he tried to apprehend Johari for suspicious behaviour; and the plaintiff refused to stop, resulting in a scuffle.
Siti Khadijah acknowledged that Nadzri, after shooting the plaintiff, did not ignore his responsibility but sent him to the hospital.
“The first defendant carried out his duty with full dedication. Admittedly it is ‘easier said than done’, considering the circumstances. The plaintiff has four previous convictions for vehicle theft.
“The defendant said the plaintiff was riding a stolen motorbike with a false registration plate during the incident (Oct 23, 2004); but the defendant did not have evidence of the plaintiff’s involvement on that day,” she noted.
Johari filed the suit on Oct 18, 2007 following his impairment after being shot in the back by Nazri.
He claimed Nadzri did not introduce himself as a police personnel and did not give him a warning before the shot.
Both defendants countering the claim contended the shot was let out in self-defence as before the scuffle happened, the plaintiff had waved the helmet a number of times until it hit Nazri’s head.
The defence further contended that the plaintiff had also tried to wrest the policeman’s pistol from him.
Throughout the proceeding Johari called four witnesses while the defendants called six.
Counsel V Rajadevan represented Johari while Senior Federal Counsel Mariam Hasanah Othman represented the defendants.