to amend National Land Code
29/10/09 The Star
PUTRAJAYA: The Attorney-Generalís Chambers is considering amending the National
Land Code to curb fraudulent land transfers, the Federal Court heard Thursday.
This was in the light of the controversial Federal Court ruling in the case
of Adorna Properties Sdn Bhd vs Boonsoom Boonyanit @ Sun Yok Eng in 2001 that
a land purchaser had bought a good title even if there was forgery involved
in the transfer, as he had bought the property in good faith.
Head of the Civil Division in the A-Gís Chambers See Mee Chun said the apex
courtís decision in the matter would have an impact on the approach it would
take in amending the Code.
In a rare move, all parties in the appeal in a property matter involving Tan
Ying Hong and Tan Sian San, Cini Timber Industries Sdn Bhd and United Malayan
Banking Corporation Bhd had called on the Federal Court to revisit and overrule
the Adorna Properties authority.
The section in question is Section 340 (3) of the Code which deals with the
indefeasibility of land titles.
The Federal Courtís binding decision that Adorna had obtained an indefeasible
title notwithstanding the forgery because it was a bona fide purchaser, have
been severely criticised by lawyers and academics as wrong.
The A-Gís Chambers appeared as amicus curiae while Roger Tan held a watching
brief for the Bar Council. Ying Hong was represented by counsel T. Muraju
and the defendants by counsel Datuk Bastian Pius Vendargon.
Chief Justice Tun Zaki Azmi who headed the bench reserved decision to a date
to be fixed after hearing submissions from all the parties in the appeal.
The other judges were Court of Appeal President Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff,
Chief Judge of Malaya Tan Sri Arifin Zakaria and Federal Court judges Datuk
Zulkefli Ahmad Makinudin and Datuk James Foong Cheng Yuen.
Zaki questioned why it was taking so long to amend the Code, to which See
replied that there were many issues to look into, including the issue of compensation.
Vendargon submitted that the Federal Courtís interpretation of Section 340
(3) of the Code in the Adorna Properties case was unconstitutional because
it gave no protection to the first party but absolute protection to a similarly
placed second party. -- Bernama