KUALA LUMPUR: A former detainee at the Sungai Buloh prison, suffering from a spinal cord injury after being severely beaten up by fellow inmates, is suing the Sungai Buloh Prison director and eight others over negligence.
V. Shashitheran, 35, was in neck braces, filed the legal action through Messrs Daim & Gamany at the High Court registrar here this morning.
The former driver who was detained from Nov 23 to Dec 1, 2015 for a minor drug offence had also named prison officers, chief inspector Zahit Zulkifli, sergeant Johari Ismail, corporals Mokhtar Hamat and Narul Zaman Md Sidek, and prison warden Wan Azman Abdul Rahim, the Prison Commissioner General, the Home Ministry and the government, as defendants.
He is seeking a declaration that placing him in a cell together with almost 100 other prisoners is a breach of the Prisons Act 1995 and Article 5 of the Federal Constitution, which provides the rights to liberty of a person.
He is also seeking for a declaration that all nine defendants have breached their statutory duty as they had failed to ensure his safety and welfare while he was placed in the Sungai Buloh prison.
Among others, he is seeking for general, aggravated and exemplary damages as well as RM1,000 in special damages.
Shashitheran who is the plaintiff claimed that the defendants were negligent in allowing severe assault to happen without taking any action and not providing enough medical assistance.
On Dec 1, 2015, at around 4pm, the plaintiff was mercilessly beaten up by five detainees after he told them off for stealing food from a fellow inmate.
In his statement claim, he alleged that the first to fifth defendants who were officers on duty at that time had ignored the incident despite him constantly screaming in pain and shouting for help.
He claimed that before he passed out due to the beating, he heard a loud crack on his neck when one of the detainee stepped on him and after he regained conscious he could not speak, move or feel his body parts.
The plaintiff, who is now unemployed due to his disability, claimed that none of the prison officers or wardens had helped or tried to save and protect him during the assault.
He claimed that he was only brought to the prison clinic at 7pm, carried on a food trolley, after inmates begged officers to have him treated as his condition had gotten worse and was having difficulty to breath.
He was brought to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) later and his mother lodged a police report on the incident.
Shashitheran when met at the KL Courts Complex lobby said he would not like this kind of incident to happen to anyone.
“I went through so much pain and I do not think I deserve this kind of treatment for a small mistake. I used to be a driver for a company director and now I am jobless. I cannot even stand for long. I do not want this to happen to anyone else,” he said.
The plaintiff is suffering from a damaged spinal cord and as a result of his injuries, he lost sensation on his skin and is unable to control his bodily functions.
He was detained at the Sungai Buloh prison for nine days until the day of the incident and was hospitalised for three weeks having undergone surgery. He is still receiving treatment.