BONIFAC LOBO ROBERT V LOBO & ANOR v.TRIBUNAL PENGURUSAN STRATA, PUTRAJAYA & ORS

[2020] 5 MLRA 253

BONIFAC LOBO ROBERT V LOBO & ANOR v.TRIBUNAL PENGURUSAN STRATA, PUTRAJAYA & ORS
Federal Court, Putrajaya
Rohana Yusuf PCA, Azahar Mohamed CJM, Abang Iskandar Abang Hashim CJSS, Vernon Ong FCJ
[Civil Appeal No: 02(f)-69-08-2018(W)]
3 August 2020

JUDGMENT

Vernon Ong FCJ:

Introduction

[1] As Justice Tan Sri Idrus Harun has since left the Bench and is presently the Attorney General of Malaysia, this judgment is being handed down pursuant to s 78 of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964. This is the unanimous decision of the four remaining Judges of this court. The appeal before us relates to the following questions of law for which leave was granted on 6 August 2018:

Question 1

Whether the rule in Sangram Singh v. Election Tribunal [1955] 2 SCR 1 (applied in Hoh Kiang Ngan v. Mahkamah Perusahaan Malaysia & Anor [1995] 1 MELR 1; [1995] 2 MLRA 435; [1995] 3 MLJ 369; [1996] 4 CLJ 687; [1996] 3 AMR 3693), namely, that an error of law by a public decision maker does not warrant intervention by judicial review in the absence of substantial injustice, extends to a case where the said public decision maker acts in breach of natural justice?

Question 2

Where judicial review is declined based upon the decision of the High Court in a connected matter which decision is reversed on appeal, is the applicant seeking judicial review entitled to judgment in his favour ex debito justitiae?

Salient Facts

[2] The background facts which led to the granting of leave to appeal to the Federal Court on the two questions of law are as follows.

[3] The 1st appellant (Mr Lobo) brought an action in the High Court for judicial review to quash a decision of the Strata Management Tribunal established under the Strata Management Act 2013 (SMA 2013) on the grounds that the Tribunal had breached the rules of natural justice in hearing and determining the 1st appellant's claim.

[4] Mr Lobo is a proprietor of a parcel in a strata development known as Silverpark Resort, Fraser Hill ('the Resort'). In October 2014 Mr Lobo was elected as Chairman of the Joint Management Committee (JMC) which comprised four other elected committee members. The JMC is the executive arm of the Joint Management Body (JMB) of the Resort.

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