Published: Wednesday October 3, 2012 MYT 12:27:00 PM
Updated: Wednesday October 3, 2012 MYT 12:28:43 PM
Kelantan allowed to appeal court ruling on Petronas oil royalties
By QISHIN TARIQ
PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court will decide whether the suit by the Kelantan government against Petroliam Nasional Berhad (Petronas) over oil royalties will be heard as a full trial or by point of law before the High Court.
The Court Wedneday granted the Kelantan government leave to appeal against the ruling by the Kuala Lumpur High Court that its breach-of-contract suit against Petronas should be heard and disposed off by way of issues of law.
The court also granted leave to the plaintiff's appeal for access to documents related to the case, following the High Court's order that the parties first proceed with the suit in accordance with Order 14A of the Rules of the High Court 1980 without going for full trial.
Appellant's counsel Tommy Thomas informed the court on Wednesday that the respondents gave no objection to the leave application.
He also requested a stay of proceeding for the matters in the KL High Court, pending the disposal of the appeal before the Federal Court.
The five-member panel, chaired by Appeals Court president Justice Md Raus Sharif, allowed the appellant's application for a stay of the proceedings.
The other panel members were Justices Ahmad Maarof, Zainun Ali, Sulong Matjeraie, and Jeffrey Tan Kok Wha.
In the lawsuit filed on Aug 30, 2010, the plaintiff had named Petronas as the first defendant.
The federal government, however, succeeded in its intervenor application and was named as second defendant.
In its statement of claim, the Kelantan government demanded that Petronas pays outstanding and future cash payments for petroleum produced off the Kelantan coast as set in their petroleum exploration agreement.
The state government is also seeking damages and costs. However, it did not specify the total amount of the claim sought from Petronas.
In the suit, the state government said that the Kelantan Petroleum Agreement signed on May 9, 1975, clearly stated that Petronas should pay in cash 5% of oil revenue either from exploration onshore or offshore.
It said that a clause of the agreement stated that the payment should be made in cash twice a year, on or before March 1 and on or before Sept 1.