Son’s bid to declare Samy Vellu mentally unfit delayed as ex-minister’s alleged common-law wife seeks to intervene

E. Meeriam Rosaline (beige jacket) is seen at the Kuala Lumpur High Court December 17, 2019. ― Pictures by Miera Zulyana
E. Meeriam Rosaline (beige jacket) is seen at the Kuala Lumpur High Court December 17, 2019. ― Pictures by Miera Zulyana

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KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 17 ― The preliminary inquiry at the High Court to determine former MIC president Tun S. Samy Vellu's mental health status was adjourned today after the woman claiming to be his common-law wife applied to be included in the matter.

Lawyer RSN Rayer, who is representing E. Meeriam Rosaline, said High Court judge Datuk Ahmad Bache decided in chambers to postpone the inquiry hearing under Section 52 of the Mental Health Act 2001 in acknowledgement of her application filed December 13.

“We are saying that she has the right to intervene because she has other proceeding in the Ipoh High Court where the plaintiff and defendant (in this inquiry hearing) were also cited as defendants.

“So we are directly affected by any order which we made by court so that is why she (Meeriam) is here today to file an application to intervene as a party,” he told reporters outside the courtroom here.

Meeriam filed a civil lawsuit against the former minister and his son, Datuk Seri Vell Paari, in which she claimed to have married Samy Vellu in a customary wedding in 1981 and was entitled to RM25,000 in monthly maintenance payments.

She claimed theirs was a common-law union and to possess documentary evidence to back this.

In her lawsuit, Meeriam is also seeking formal recognition of her customary but childless marriage to Samy Vellu.

Lawyer RSN Rayer speaks to reporters outside the Kuala Lumpur High Court December 17, 2019.
Lawyer RSN Rayer speaks to reporters outside the Kuala Lumpur High Court December 17, 2019.

On December 12, The Ipoh High Court postponed the hearing of Meeriam's application to January 17 for an interim order for her unrestricted access to Samy Vellu, after Vell Paari filed his application to have his father declared mentally unfit to conduct his affairs.

Rayer added that while the court has not heard Meeriam's latest application, it still adjourned proceedings to another date after sealed copy of the application was served to both plaintiff and defendant yesterday.

The court fixed January 7 for case management.

In his application, Vell Paari claimed that his family had observed a progressive cognitive deterioration in Samy Vellu, 82, since 2017 which had caused the latter difficulties in managing his personal affairs.

Consultant psychiatrists David Ames from Australia and Dr Bharathi from Pantai Hospital were also cited to have found Samy Vellu to be suffering from major neurocognitive disorder such as dementia.

Samy Vellu was named as sole respondent in the suit. He was not present in court today.

Today, Rayer maintained today that Samy Vellu was mentally fit and healthy.

When met outside court later, Meeriam said she came to see her husband today and seek justice.

Vell Paari was represented in court by lawyer David Thomas Mathews. He was not present in court.

Vell Paari previously told Malay Mail in a statement that Samy Vellu suffered from dementia and was diagnosed in 2017 as suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

Vell Paari also purported that Samy Vellu has appointed him to manage his personal and financial affairs since then.

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