Tuesday, May 21, 2013 11:54 PM
Ownership transfer issue of second-hand cars for court to decide
PUTRAJAYA: The Federal Court will determine whether second-hand vehicles must be physically inspected by Road Transport Department (JPJ) or merely via inspection of documents before transferring ownership.
This follows the Federal Court's five-member panel's decision to grant leave to the Selangor JPJ director, transport ministry and the Government to appeal in a civil suit which was filed against them by a lawyer.
Chief Justice Tun Arifin Zakaria, who chaired the panel, allowed two legal questions to be determined by the Federal Court.
"The matter needs to be decided, once and for all," he said.
The Federal Court will fix a hearing date once parties in the case had submitted their court documents.
The decision in this case is important because new and old vehicles are registered and ownership transferred practically daily.
As of last year, about 22 million vehicles were registered with the JPJ nationwide.
The matter arose following a civil suit filed by lawyer Sin Yong Ming against the applicants (Selangor JPJ director, transport ministry and the Government).
Sin bought a second-hand Mercedes Benz from Leong Kok Chou in March 1999, and ownership transfer, as well as registration card, was issued by JPJ on April 1, 1999.
Four months later, police seized the car and upon examination by the Chemistry Department, it was found to be a stolen vehicle as the chassis number had been tampered.
In 2000, Sin filed the civil suit alleging that JPJ failed to monitor and update the registration record of the car.
The High Court, on Oct 19, 2010, allowed his suit and ordered damages amounting to RM160,000 and costs be paid to him.
On Dec 20, 2010, the Court of Appeal dismissed the appeal by the Selangor JPJ director, transport ministry and the Government.
Earlier, Senior Federal Counsel Siti Badariah Yusuf submitted before the panel that it was JPJ's duty to only physically inspect a new vehicle as provided under section 10 of the Road Transport Act 1987.
She said, as for second-hand vehicles, the duty imposed on JPJ was to merely inspect documents before transferring ownership.
Lawyer Mohd Firuz Jaffril, who represented Sin, argued that the High Court had ruled the JPJ must physically inspect, irrespective whether it was new or second-hand vehicles.