THE auction of items seized by the Sessions Court from the home of rubber industry figure Vinod Sekhar was postponed today, after his wife filed a stay application in the high court, arguing that she owned the items in question.
The Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur had previously seized the items in a civil forfeiture case involving Irish national John Slattery, who had sued Vinod for breach of contract.
Slattery had won the case in June.
Confiscated items included electrical appliances, furniture and fixtures valued at a total of RM150,000 to be auctioned off today in Bukit Tunku, Kuala Lumpur.
Slattery’s lawyer Tan Wee Jiun said Vinod’s wife, Winy Yeap, filed the stay application yesterday.
“The court has granted the stay application and the auction has been postponed,” she said at the High Court in Kuala Lumpur today.
Tan said Yeap is claiming that the items in question belong to her.
“She will also be filing a suit to exert her claims.”
Judge Zuhrina Mohamed Noor, who heard the application in chambers today, set October 21 to hear the case.
In June, the court awarded Slattery US$108,000 (RMM449,000) as full settlement for his suit against the businessman.
The judgment was made in default on June 11, following Vinod’s failure to appear before the court.
Slattery’s lawyer, Colin Pereira, had said that his client filed a civil suit against Vinod to claim the sum, which was paid to the businessman in 2017 as an investment in Green Rubber Sdn Bhd, a company of which Sekhar was chairman and founder.
He said based on his client’s instructions, Vinod had promised his client positions in three companies, including as executive director in Green Rubber Sdn Bhd and as senior vice-president of strategic development in Vinod’s well-known Petra Group.
Pereira said Vinod had offered Slattery the opportunity to invest in Green Rubber, but according to his client, Vinod never mentioned he was bankrupt.
“My client had agreed to invest in the company and transferred the sum into Vinod’s personal bank account on May 16, 2017.”
He said that to date no shares had been transferred to Slattery.
Pereira said the court ordered Vinod to pay US$108,000, or its equivalent in ringgit at the time of full settlement, plus 5% annual interest beginning May 16, 2017, until the debt was settled in full.