Mental check on Samy Vellu

This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on December 9, 2019.

Samy Vellu’s (pic) son wants a date to be fixed by the court to hold an inquiry into his father’s mental health condition. The Edge file photo

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KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri S Vell Paari has filed an originating summons at the High Court here against his father Tun S Samy Vellu, wanting the court to find out whether the former MIC president and long-time works minister is a mentally disordered person and whether he could manage his own affairs.

Vell Paari, 57, named his 82-year-old father as the sole defendant in the application, which was filed on Dec 2.

He sought the court to hold an inquiry under Section 52 of the Mental Health Act 2001, to determine whether his father is a mentally disordered person, in documents that were sighted by The Edge Financial Daily.

The case aims to determine when the former senior minister has allegedly started to be mentally disordered and whether he can give instruction to his solicitors, and when he could be incapable. It is also aimed at discovering the properties owned by the father.

Vell Paari, who is a former MIC secretary-general, also wants one Penang-based Dr Prem Kumar Chandrasekaran, a consultant neuropsychiatrist and head of Neurobehavioural Medicine at the Penang Adventist Hospital or other mental health expert be given medical access to examine his father.

This is so that a medical report could be prepared on Samy Vellu’s mental capacity and his condition pursuant to Section 54 of the Act.

Vell Paari wants a date be fixed by the court to hold an inquiry into his father’s mental health condition and that Samy Vellu be brought before the court.

He added that in case Samy Vellu is said to be mentally disordered then Vell Paari, along with lawyer Datuk C Vijaya Kumar or anyone else the court deemed fit, be appointed to the committee of his estate.

Should the court agree to the formation of the committee, Vell Paari wants the court to determine the powers of the committee, make provisions for costs and expenses, and remuneration be paid to them.

He also wanted to be made a litigant in representing his father.

Vell Paari in his affidavit in support said his mother and sister are aware of the application made in this court.

He cited findings by one Professor David Ames, and Dr Bharathi that significantly demonstrate prima facie that his father is a mentally disordered person.

Since late 2017, Vell Paari said he had been managing his father’s affairs and his estate. He also claimed that Samy Vellu is not able to access funds from his bank accounts as the bankers are aware of his condition and are not prepared to follow his instructions.

As such, he is forced to make the application under Section 52 of the Act for a proper inquiry to be held and proposes Dr Prem Kumar be appointed to oversee his father’s assessment.

Furthermore, Vell Paari said that Vijaya Kumar’s appointment as a proposed committee member follows that he was a counsel in many of Samy Vellu’s dealings and known to his mother, sister and himself.

Vell Paari also said that his father’s former mistress, whom he identified only as Meeriam, has initiated legal proceedings at the Ipoh High Court against Samy Vellu and himself, which he had disputed.

 For this reason, Vell Paari sought to have the inquiry in Kuala Lumpur be disposed of first rather than (Meeriam’s) originating summons and attempt to cross-examine his father be heard first.

The matter is fixed for case management before High Court deputy registrar today.