PUTRAJAYA: Ho Hup Construction Company Bhd can appeal to the Federal Court against the Appeals Court decision, which rejected the company's right to control the development of a 24ha piece of land in Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur.
A five-man panel chaired by Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin unanimously held that Ho Hup had met the threshold requirement under Section 96(a) of the Courts of Judicature Act 1964 for leave to be granted to the company to appeal.
Presiding on the panel with Zulkefli were Federal Court Judges Datuk Suriyadi Halim Omar, Datuk Ahmad Maarop, Datin Paduka Zaleha Zahari and Datuk Sulong Matjeraie.
The Federal Court would have to determine eight legal questions in the appeal proceeding.
On Dec 20 last year, the Appeals Court ruled that Ho Hup had no locus standing to bring legal action against its subsidiary, Bukit Jalil Development Sdn Bhd (BJD), and Pioneer Haven Sdn Bhd over a joint development agreement (JDA) on the land for a mixed commercial and residential project.
The Appeals Court overturned the High Court's decision, which had ruled in favour of Ho Hup.
The dispute revolved around the JDA on the land, which was signed on March 16, 2010, between BJD and Pioneer Haven, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Malton Bhd.
The JDA was entered into when Ho Hup was under the management of former deputy chairman Datuk Vincent Lye.
By a power of attorney from BJD to Pioneer Haven, the latter company was given irrevocable power to carry out the land development.
The JDA was entered just before Ho Hup underwent a boardroom revamp. Later, Ho Hup's new board, backed by majority shareholder Datuk Low Tuck Choy and several others, objected to the deal, claiming that their approval was not sought beforehand.
They believed that it would be more profitable for Ho Hup if the company had opted to sell or develop the land on its own.
Ho Hup filed a suit in the Kuala Lumpur High Court against its former directors and the directors of BJD and Pioneer Haven.
In June last year, the court ruled that the JDA was invalid. Bernama