FEDERAL COURT UPHELD COURT OF APPEAL DECISION – MAYBANK LOSES DEFAMATION SUITS AGAINST NUBE 

FEDERAL COURT UPHELD COURT OF APPEAL DECISION – MAYBANK LOSES DEFAMATION SUITS AGAINST NUBE
3 July 2017

THE Federal Court today upheld the decision of the Court of Appeal delivered in August 2016, in Maybank’s defamation suits against the National Union of Bank Employees and its officers.

It was unanimously ruled that Section 22(1) of the Trade Unions Act 1959, accorded NUBE and its members absolute exemption of liability from the tort of libel.

The Federal Court unanimously decided to refuse to grant leave for Maybank to appeal against the decision of Court of Appeal.

For record, Maybank filed 5 separate applications for leave to appeal to the Federal Court against all five decisions of the Court of Appeal. Defamation suits were brought by Maybank against NUBE and its officers due to the publication of a flyer and two articles on the union’s website.

The court also ruled that there is no ambiguity what so ever in the construction of Section 22(1) of Trade Unions Act 1959, wherein a suit against a trade union and its officers in respect of any tortious act alleged to have been committed by or on behalf of the trade union, shall not be entertained by any court.

The Federal Court today, comprising, Chief Justice Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Md Raus Sharif, President of the Court of Appeal Tan Sri Dato’ Seri Zulkefli bin Ahmad Makinudin and Tan Sri Jeffery Tan, unanimously dismissed all of Maybank’s five applications for leave to appeal with costs of RM20,000.

NUBE welcomed the decision of the Federal Court which, further ensures the fundamental rights of unions and the workers of this country in protecting the interests of its members.

This is a landmark decision for the development of the union movement in this country to function independently without fear or favour.

NUBE also felt that this is a positive reaffirmation for trade unions in this country and their liberty to advocate justice for their members, workers, institutions and the best interests of the nation at large.

NUBE and its officers were represented by counsel Dato’ Ambiga Sreenevasan and Alex De Silva while Tan Sri Cecil Abraham, Dato Thavalingam Thavarajah, S Rutheran and Sunil Abraham acted for Maybank.

J SOLOMON
GENERAL SECRETARY

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