[2022] 2 MLRA 313
Federal Court, Putrajaya
Nallini Pathmanathan, Zabariah Mohd Yusof, Mary Lim Thiam Suan FCJJ
[Civil Appeal No: 02(f)-33-07-2020(B)]
Nallini Pathmanathan, Zabariah Mohd Yusof, Mary Lim Thiam Suan FCJJ


Mary Lim Thiam Suan FCJ:

[1] The respondent sued the appellant bank for a purported shortfall in the size of the land that it had purchased at a public auction. The claim was dismissed at first instance but allowed on appeal. We reversed the decision of the Court of Appeal upon answering the first question posed on appeal.

[2] The questions posed concern the relationship between a successful bidder in an auction conducted pursuant to an order for sale issued by the High Court, and the bank who initiated the sale, whether these parties are in any contractual relationship upon which the parties may sue for any shortcomings that may subsequently arise. These are important questions where the answers should assist and guide parties similarly circumstanced. Orders for sale of immovable properties are unfortunately, commonplace and the clear pronouncement of this Apex Court should go a substantial way to addressing common concerns.

[3] Three questions of law given leave to appeal pursuant to s 96(a) of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 [Act 91] are as follows:

(i) Whether a judicial sale pursuant to s 257 of the National Land Code 1965 gives rise to a contract between the chargee bank and a successful bidder;

(ii) Whether the Conditions of Sale including the Proclamation of Sale in particular cl 23 of Conditions of Sale pursuant to a judicial sale under s 258 of the National Land Code which are formulated by the Chief Registrar of the High Court of Malaya and which have to be strictly adhered to, is contrary to s 29 of the Contracts Act 1950;

(iii) Whether in establishing and proving damages, no valuation of the actual land identified as being 'excluded' is necessary or can a plaintiff establish quantum of damages by mere mathematical deduction of acreage.

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