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Sujatha “unknowingly drunk” weedkiller (Updated)

(Updated 8:10pm, 16 March 2009)

KUALA LUMPUR, 16 March 2009: The chief executive officer of Maika Holdings Bhd told the Coroner’s Court today that his personal assistant, K Sujatha, told him she had “unknowingly drunk” paraquet on 19 June 2007.

Vell Paari said he came to know about the incident after her younger brother, Ugenthiran, who was studying in Australia at the time, contacted him.

He said he received the call at 6.30pm, about 30 minutes after Sujatha, who was also a local actress, had declined his offer to send her to the clinic although she had complained of stomach pains due to an ovarian cyst.

Questioned by Deputy Public Prosecutor Geethan Ram Vincent, who is assisting Magistrate Mohd Fauzi Che Abu acting as coroner, Vell Paari, 46, said that immediately after confirming with Sujatha what had happened, he rushed to the Sangsuria Condominium where she stayed.

The condominium is located about 10 minutes drive from Vell Paari’s house in Jalan Ipoh.

“While on the way to the condominium, I contacted my cousin who is a medical officer attached to the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital in Klang, for his assistance and advice.

“He told me that since such cases would be rejected by medical centres, it was better for me to seek treatment (for Sujatha) at the government hospital,” he added.

He was testifying at the inquest of Sujatha, 28, who died at the Klang Hospital on 25 June 2007, four days after admission, for allegedly drinking weedkiller.

Vell Paari, who is MIC president Datuk Seri S Samy Vellu’s son, said his cousin, Dr S P Sakthiveloo, who stayed near his house, suggested sending Sujatha to the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital.

Questioned by Geethan as to why he did not seek treatment for Sujatha at the Kuala Lumpur Hospital, which was just 10 minutes’ drive from his house, as compared to the hospital in Klang, which was more than 45km away, Vell Paari replied that he was confused at that time.

Earlier, Vell Paari told the coroner that he knew Sujatha since 1996 when she was working with one of the Maika’s subsidiaries and worked as his personal assistant from 1999 to 2007.

Vell Paari said he knew Sujatha’s family well and funded her brothers’ education, one of whom studied in Australia.

Asked to describe his relationship with Sujatha, Vell Paari said it was just an employer-employee relationship, where he had also cared for other staff, as well.

However, he admitted that he had sent Sujatha several times to Damai Hospital and clinics where she had sought treatment for her ovarian cyst.

“My relationship with Sujatha was just like any other friend,” said Vell Paari who remained calm throughout his testimony.

Meanwhile, Sujatha’s father, Krishnan Kunchan Nair, 53, said he last met his daughter about three years before her death.

He said he was unaware that she was warded at the hospital in Klang for nearly five days prior to her death.

Krishnan said Sujatha and he were not on good terms, adding that one of his sons informed him of her death.

Krishnan also told the court that he did not suspect foul play in his daughter’s death.

Sujatha’s housemate G Tanusha Nair, 28, said Sujatha had introduced Vell Paari to her at a concert in Bukit Jalil.

Tanusha said she visited Sujatha at the hospital in Klang on 19 June 2007 after the deceased’s brother informed her that she was critically ill due to ovarian cancer.

She said she was unaware whether Sujatha and Vell Paari were involved in a relationship.

The inquest continues tomorrow. — Bernama

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