Thursday January 10, 2013
Former landowner wants property auction nullified
By TERENCE TOH
SEREMBAN: A technical coordinator testified in the High Court here that a sale of his property three years ago should be set aside due to alleged fraudulent conduct during an auction.
Plaintiff A.N. Sreetharan said that he believed there was a conspiracy among the parties involved in the auction to obtain his property in Bahau at a price below market value.
“According to records, about 20 people registered as bidders at the public auction on July 31, 2008. But it was sold off at the reserve price of RM780,000 to a person,” Sreetharan said in his witness statement.
“If there had been 20 bidders, why was the property sold without any call for higher bids?”
Sreenathan and his three brothers – Raman Nair, Kunjuni Nair and Gomida @ Govinda Nair – are suing Hong Leong Bank Berhad (formerly EON Bank Bhd) for alleged fraudulent conduct during the auction of their property in Bahau, which was put up as security for a third party loan to the bank in 2002.
The four are also suing Yong Chuu Yong, believed to be the highest bidder during the auction.
Sreetharan claimed that a check with the National Registration Department showed that some of the IC numbers of the registered bidders did not exist while others were repeated or registered under different names.
National Registration Department official Abdul Malek Yaakob confirmed that some of the IC numbers did not exist.
He admitted, however, that since the list was handwritten, some numbers were unclear and that he had limited his checks to those given by the plaintiff.
On May 20, 2008, the Deputy Registrar of the Seremban High Court had recorded a consent order for the property to be sold through public auction on July 31 that same year with a reserve price of RM780,000.
Sreetharan and his brothers are seeking general and special damages as well as orders for the public auction held on July 31, 2008, and the Certificate of Sale issued to Yong on April 15, 2009, to be set aside.
However, the defendants claim the auction was carried out genuinely and that Yong was a bona fide purchaser.