Federal Court: Party challenging a Court Order must take active steps

On 31 July 2019, the Federal Court allowed the appeals by Ann Joo Steel Sdn Bhd (“Ann Joo”) against a Court of Appeal decision in favour of Tenaga Nasional Berhad, Pejabat Tanah dan Galian Negeri Pulau Pinang and another (collectively “Respondents”).
In 2010, Ann Joo had initiated a claim against the Respondents at the High Court on the grounds of trespass on its land. The Respondents denied that there was trespass by challenging the measurement and boundary of the subject land. Ann Joo rebutted the Respondents’ assertion by relying on a High Court Order made in 1995 (“1995 Order”) and a subsequent boundary measurement made pursuant to the 1995 Order, which were both in favour of Ann Joo.
The main issue before the Federal Court was whether the 1995 Order (and subsequent boundary measurement) was valid. It is to be noted that the Respondents did not appeal against the 1995 Order back in 1995, nor did it apply to set aside the 1995 Order.
The High Court found in favour of Ann Joo. It upheld the 1995 Order and the resulting boundary measurement.[1] However, the Court of Appeal reversed the High Court’s decision and set aside the 1995 Order and the resulting boundary measurement.[2]
The Federal Court set aside the Court of Appeal’s decision and reinstated the High Court’s decision. It found that the 1995 Order is valid in law, and held that to challenge a Court Order (such as the 1995 Order) which was not appealed against, the Respondents should have applied to set aside the Court Order.
Ann Joo was represented by our Dato’ Lim Chee Wee, Kwan Will Sen, Nimalan Devaraja and Kelvin Seah.

[1] Ann Joo Steel Sdn Bhd v Tenaga Nasional Berhad & Ors [2017] 2 CLJ 199.
[2]Pejabat Tanah dan Galian Negeri Pulau Pinang & Anor v Ann Joo Steel Sdn Bhd and another appeal [2017] 6 MLJ 397.